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Joel Sternfeld

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Name  Joel Sternfeld
Role  Photographer

Joel Sternfeld Sunday Salon Joel Sternfeld
Awards  Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, US & Canada
Books  Oxbow archive, When it Changed, Walking the High Line

Education  Dartmouth College (1965)

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Joel Sternfeld (born June 30, 1944) is a fine-art color photographer noted for his large-format documentary pictures of the United States and helping establish color photography as a respected artistic medium. He has many works in the permanent collections of the MOMA in New York City and the Getty Center in Los Angeles. He has influenced a generation of color photographers, including Andreas Gursky, who borrows many of Sternfeld's techniques and approaches.


Joel Sternfeld Joel Sternfeld 39American Prospects39 2012 ASX

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Life and work

Joel Sternfeld Joel Sternfeld Walking the High Line Art Blart

Sternfeld earned a BA from Dartmouth College and teaches photography at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. He began taking color photographs in 1970 after learning the color theory of Johannes Itten and Josef Albers. Color is an important element of his photographs.

Joel Sternfeld Joel Sternfeld 39American Prospects39 2012 ASX

American Prospects (1987) is Sternfeld's most known book and explores the irony of human-altered landscapes in the United States. To make the book, Sternfeld photographed ordinary things, including unsuccessful towns and barren-looking landscapes.

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On This Site: Landscape in Memoriam (1997), is about violence in America. Sternfeld photographed sites of recent tragedies. Next to each photograph is text about the events that happened at that location.

Joel Sternfeld Joel Sternfeld Artists Luhring Augustine

From 1991 to 1994 Sternfeld worked with Melinda Hunt to document New York City's public cemetery on Hart Island, resulting in the book "Hart Island" (1998).

Joel Sternfeld Joel Sternfeld Artists Luhring Augustine

Sternfeld has also published books about social class and stereotypes in America (Stranger Passing (2001)), an abandoned elevated railway in New York (Walking the High Line (2002)), and Sweet Earth: Experimental Utopias in America (2006).

Joel Sternfeld Pier 24 Joel Sternfeld Pier 24

When It Changed (2007) contains close-up portraits of delegates debating global warming at the 2005 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal.


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  • 1977: Rencontres d'Arles, Arles, France.
  • 2011: Joel Sternfeld – Farbfotografien seit 1970, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany.
  • 2011–2012: Joel Sternfeld – Color Photographs since 1970, Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • 2012: Joel Sternfeld – Farbfotografien seit 1970, Albertina, Wien, Austria.
  • Awards

    Joel Sternfeld Amazoncom Joel Sternfeld American Prospects 9781935202974
  • 1978-1982: Guggenheim Fellowship.
  • 1985: Higashikawa Prize, Japan.
  • 1980: National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.
  • 1990-91: Prix de Rome.
  • 2004: Citigroup Photography Prize, in association with The Photographers' Gallery, London.
  • 2013: Montgomery Fellowship, Dartmouth College.
  • Publications

    Joel Sternfeld 52 best Joel Sternfeld images on Pinterest Color photography
  • Campagna Romana: The Countryside of Ancient Rome. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992. ISBN 978-0-67941-578-7.
  • Hart Island. Zurich, Berlin, New York: Scalo, 1998. ISBN 978-3-931141-90-5. Includes a text by Melinda Hunt.
  • Treading on Kings. Göttingen: Steidl, 2003. ISBN 978-3-88243-837-6.
  • When It Changed. Göttingen: Steidl, 2008. ISBN 978-3-8652-1-278-8.
  • Sweet Earth-Experimental Utopias in America. Göttingen: Steidl, 2008. ISBN 978-3-86521-124-8.
  • Oxbow Archive. Göttingen: Steidl, 2008. ISBN 978-3-86521-786-8.
  • iDubai. Göttingen: Steidl, 2010. ISBN 978-3-86521-916-9.
  • First Pictures. Göttingen: Steidl, 2011. ISBN 978-3-86930-309-3.
  • Walking the High Line. Göttingen: Steidl, 2012. ISBN 978-3-86521-982-4.
  • On This Site: Landscape in Memorian. Göttingen: Steidl, 2012. ISBN 978-3-86930-434-2.
  • Stranger Passing. Göttingen: Steidl, 2012. ISBN 978-3-86930-499-1
  • American Prospects. New York, NY: Distributed Art Publishers / Göttingen: Steidl, 2012. ISBN 978-3-88243-915-1.
  • References

    Joel Sternfeld Wikipedia

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