Joel Sternfeld

Luhring Augustine | Chelsea

In the ’70s and ’80s, when Joel Sternfeld traversed the US on a series of cross-country trips, he toted not a Leica or a Rolleiflex but an old-fashioned 8 x 10 view camera Sternfeld was following in the footsteps of a generation of American photographers for whom the automobile had been almost as integral to the project as the camera itself; like his fellow “New Color” road-trippers Stephen Shore and William Eggleston, he modified the itinerant documentary tradition as he went along, jettisoning its chromophobia and rethinking the snapshot ethos as well. But if, say, Eggleston’s street shots and on-the-fly intimacies embody a first-person, driver’s-eye view of the world, Sternfeld’s magisterial perspectives lead one to wonder whether he had a crane mounted on the roof of his VW van.

Fourteen new digital prints from “American Prospects,” 1978–86/2003—blown up to forty-eight by fifty-eight

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