Joel Sternfeld: American Prospects


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ISBN: 9783958296695 Category:

Joel Sternfeld, Gerhard Steidl


First published in 1987 to critical acclaim, the seminal American Prospects has been likened to Walker Evans’ American Photographs and Robert Frank’s The Americans in both its ability to visually summarize the zeitgeist of a decade and to influence the course of photography following its publication. This definitive edition of American Prospects contains twelve new pictures, most of which have neither been published nor exhibited. Freed from the size constraints of previous editions, Sternfeld includes portraits and portraits in the landscape which elucidate the human condition in America. The result is a more complex and rounded view of American society that strongly anticipates Sternfeld’s “Stranger Passing” series (1985-2000) and links the two bodies of work.

If the contamination of paradise has often been Sternfeld’s subject, he has likewise tainted the purity of photography in order to capture the condition of America. His shift from spontaneous snapshot to predetermined picture-making helped open the gates for a new type of photography now practiced by Gregory Crewdson, Rineke Dijkstra, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth and Jeff Wall, among many others. – Kerry Brougher, former chief curator of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Additional information

Weight 2320 g
Dimensions 30.8 x 39.2 cm
Publisher name Steidl
Publication date 30 March 2020
Number of pages 168
Format Hardback
Dimensions 30.8 x 39.2 cm
Weight 2320 g
A major figure in the photography world, Joel Sternfeld was born in New York City in 1944. He has received numerous awards including two Guggenheim fellowships, a Prix de Rome and the Citibank Photography Award. Sternfeld's books published by Steidl include American Prospects (2003), Sweet Earth (2006), Oxbow Archive (2008), First Pictures (2012), and Landscape as Longing (2016) with Frank Gohlke.