Lee Friedlander - Photographs New York Tuesday, April 3, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Cape, Lee Friedlander: Nudes, p. 62

  • Catalogue Essay

    His goal with these images was inherently photographic- to make nudes that felt as real as possible.” - Ingrid Sischy, Lee Friedlander: Nudes

    While Lee Friedlander is best known for his street photographs that came to define a new style of documentary photography in the 1960s, he was as equally committed to his Nudes series which he photographed over a period of twelve years, beginning in the late 1970s. While the nude is the most classical of subjects, Friedlander’s depictions are anything but, presenting us with figures not from the canon of art history but from contemporary culture. These women are not idealized nor glamorized
    but are the real bodies of everyday people. Indeed, after finding models through his network of friends, photographers and even ad postings, he visited them at their homes and photographed them in their own beds, among their own possessions. This heightened their sense of comfort and ultimately the viewers’ sense of intimacy with the subjects.

    One such model was Madonna, who posed for Friedlander from 1979 to 1980, just a few years before the release of her first album in 1983. At the time, Madonna was a dancer in New York City struggling to make ends meet through modeling and small roles in low-budget films. It is believed that she was paid $25 for the sittings. As her fame skyrocketed over the years, these images remain emblematic of her early career, before she would hone the public image for which she is known.


Nude (Madonna)

Gelatin silver print, printed 1980s.
12 1/8 x 8 1/8 in (30.8 x 20.6 cm)
Signed in pencil, copyright credit reproduction limitation and 'printed 1980s' stamps on the verso.

$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $45,000

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Kramer Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs
[email protected]
+ 1 212 940 1245


4 April 2012
New York