Book Corner #3: The New Cars

The book corner section highlights the most original aspects of this season's themes and American culture, through works selected from our KENZO boutiques and reviewed by Angelo Cirimele. This week's pick in 'The New Cars' by Lee Friedlander, which capture sone of the quintessential elements of modern American life - travelling by car.

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I have always thought that the best way to tell the American story is to talk about travelling. Covering the cities of course, but mostly the wide open spaces: the great West, California… And so the car asserts itself as the most natural vehicle for this. This book by Lee Friedlander has a back-story: commissioned by Harper’s Bazaar to take a series of pictures about the latest car models in 1964, the photographer - true to his style - scattered the cars across the city, ensuring they inhabited the cityscape and stood right in the midst of city life, shooting it all on his 35mm Leica. The magazine had been expecting a series that showed the products in a more 'advantageous' light, so Friedlander was paid, yet the pictures were never published. Resurfacing a few decades later, their documentary value has remained, and they also present something typically American: exploring its great wide open spaces driving a car.

'The new cars' 1964 – Lee Friedlander, 2011, 86 p. Ed. Fraenkel gallery.

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