‘Stranger Passing’, Installation view, Buchmann Galerie, 2017
Stranger Passing
Installation view
Buchmann Galerie
2017
Joel Sternfeld, ‘A Woman at Home in Malibu After Exercising, California, August 1988’, 1988
Joel Sternfeld
A Woman at Home in Malibu After Exercising, California, August 1988, 1988
C-print
118 x 96,5 cm / 46½ x 38 in
Joel Sternfeld, ‘A Man at His Campsite, El Prado, New Mexico, August 1999’, 1999
Joel Sternfeld
A Man at His Campsite, El Prado, New Mexico, August 1999, 1999
Ektacolor print
91.5 x 115.5 cm / 36 x 45½ in
Joel Sternfeld, ‘A Farmer Taking a Break, Iowa, November 1987, She Has Cancer of the Thyroid’, 1987
Joel Sternfeld
A Farmer Taking a Break, Iowa, November 1987, She Has Cancer of the Thyroid, 1987
Ektacolor print
116,2 x 92 cm / 45¾ x 36¼ in
Joel Sternfeld, ‘A Man Waiting for a Tow Truck to Take His Car to a Demolition Derby at the County Fair, South Hadly, Massachusetts, September 1998, the Tow Truck Never Came and He Was Unable to Race That Day’, 1998
Joel Sternfeld
A Man Waiting for a Tow Truck to Take His Car to a Demolition Derby at the County Fair, South Hadly, Massachusetts, September 1998, the Tow Truck Never Came and He Was Unable to Race That Day, 1998
Ektacolor print
93,3 x 116,8 cm / 36¾ x 46 in
‘Stranger Passing’, Installation view, Buchmann Galerie, 2017
Stranger Passing
Installation view
Buchmann Galerie
2017
‘Stranger Passing’, Installation view, Buchmann Galerie, 2017
Stranger Passing
Installation view
Buchmann Galerie
2017
‘Stranger Passing’, Installation view, Buchmann Galerie, 2017
Stranger Passing
Installation view
Buchmann Galerie
2017
‘Stranger Passing’, Installation view, Buchmann Galerie, 2017
Stranger Passing
Installation view
Buchmann Galerie
2017
‘Stranger Passing’, Installation view, Buchmann Galerie, 2017
Stranger Passing
Installation view
Buchmann Galerie
2017
Joel Sternfeld, ‘A Mother and Daughter on Their Daily Walk Near the Werner Center in the San Fernando Valley, California, March 1988’, 1988
Joel Sternfeld
A Mother and Daughter on Their Daily Walk Near the Werner Center in the San Fernando Valley, California, March 1988, 1988
c-print
118 x 96,5 cm / 46½ x 38
Joel Sternfeld, ‘A Woman Out Shopping with Her Pet Rabbit, Santa Monica, California, August 1988’, 1988
Joel Sternfeld
A Woman Out Shopping with Her Pet Rabbit, Santa Monica, California, August 1988, 1988
c-print
118 x 96,5 cm / 46½ x 38
Joel Sternfeld, ‘Boys Walking Home after School, Harrisonburg, Virginia, May 1999’, 1999
Joel Sternfeld
Boys Walking Home after School, Harrisonburg, Virginia, May 1999, 1999
c-print
92 x 116,2 cm / 36¼ x 45¾
Joel Sternfeld, ‘A Homeless Man with His Bedding, New York, New York, July 1994’, 1994
Joel Sternfeld
A Homeless Man with His Bedding, New York, New York, July 1994, 1994
c-print
118 x 96,5 cm / 46½ x 38 in
Joel Sternfeld, ‘A Man on the Banks of the Mississippi, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, August 1985’, 1985
Joel Sternfeld
A Man on the Banks of the Mississippi, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, August 1985, 1985
c-print
92 x 116,2 cm / 36¼ x 45¾ in

Joel Sternfeld – Stranger Passing

10 Nov 20173 Feb 2018
Buchmann Galerie
Press release

The Buchmann Galerie is pleased to present an exhibition comprised of two separate but related bodies of work by Joel Sternfeld: Stranger Passing and To Joseph Palmer. Both are works of photographic portraits and both use a collective grouping of individual portraits to describe a larger aspect of American society.

 

The semiformal portraits of Stranger Passing were made between 1985 and 2001 in the United States. In these large (92 x 116 cm) pictures we see a very wide range of American types going about their daily lives. Taking his inspiration from the German portraitist August Sander, and in particular from Sander’s Three Peasants On Their Way to a Dance, Sternfeld captures his subjects in the midst of an activity that seems to give a clue to their identity. Commenting on the work in the catalogue of Stranger Passing as presented at San Francisco MOMA in 2001 curator Douglas Nickel wrote: “Sternfeld’s sociology therefore throws the question back at us, asking us to decide what we are willing to assume, on the basis of outward appearance, about the person standing next to us in the elevator.” Further commenting on Sternfeld’s portraits Nickel says: “Depending on where you stand, they can be taken as critical, ironic, and political, or earnest, straight-faced, and illustrative.” In these pictures the seeds of much what is transpiring in present day America can be seen taking hold.

 

At Buchmann Box we are showing To Joseph Palmer for the first time. This most recent series is comprised of 24 small, jewel-like portraits of people with beards — but it is not the beards per se that are the focus of this work. The pictures are dedicated to Joseph Palmer, a nineteenth century New England farmer who grew a long and flowing beard at a time when beards were utterly socially unacceptable.

Attacked one night by four men attempting to cut off his beard, Palmer defended himself with a knife. For this he was jailed and given a ten dollar fine. Refusing to pay the fine as a matter of principle he spent the next 15 months in jail. During this time he wrote to the local newspaper and his published letters made him a cause célèbre. Upon his release from prison Palmer became part of the social circle around Thoreau and Emerson and he joined the radical and spectacularly unsuccessful commune, Fruitlands. By the time Palmer died in the 1870’s beards had become wildly in fashion. On Palmer’s tombstone a likeness of him with his great beard is sculpted in marble and we are told that he was “Persecuted For Wearing the Beard”.

A historic text written by Stewart Holbrook in 1944 runs sequentially at the bottom of Sternfeld’s images, thus making this another work in the many text/image bodies of work that he has continued to create (On This Site (exhibited at Buchmann Galerie in 2009), Treading on Kings, When it Changed, Sweet Earth).

Each participant in To Joseph Palmer was told the story of this crusader for freedom of speech and each agreed to participate in the project to honor Palmer and the right of all people to be free of persecution because of their harmless beliefs and practices.

 

For more information about the artist and for images you are welcome to contact the gallery at any time.

Pressemitteilung

Die Buchmann Galerie freut sich, eine Ausstellung mit zwei verwandten Werkgruppen von Joel Sternfeld anzukündigen: Stranger Passing und To Joseph Palmer. Beide verwenden eine Folge von Einzelporträts, um einen breiteren Aspekt der US-amerikanischen Gesellschaft zu beschreiben.

 

Die semiformalen Porträts von Stranger Passing entstanden zwischen 1985 und 2001 in den Vereinigten Staaten. In diesen großformatigen Bildern (92x116 cm) begegnen wir Menschen aus sehr unterschiedlichen gesellschaftlichen Verhältnissen bei deren alltäglichem Tun. Sternfeld ließ sich zu diesen Arbeiten von dem deutschen Fotografen August Sander und insbesondere von dessen Drei Bauern auf dem Weg zum Tanz inspirieren und hält diese Menschen inmitten einer Tätigkeit fest, die einen Schlüssel zu Ihrer Identität zu geben scheint.

Im Katalog zur Ausstellung von Stranger Passing 2001 im MOMA San Francisco schrieb Kurator Douglas Nickel: „Sternfelds Soziologie gibt daher die Frage an uns zurück, da wir selbst entscheiden müssen, welche Vermutungen wir über die Person neben uns im Fahrstuhl aufgrund der äußeren Erscheinung zulassen.“ Zu Sternfelds Porträts sagt Nickel weiterhin: „Abhängig vom eigenen Standpunkt können sie als kritisch, ironisch und politisch oder als ernsthaft, unbewegt und illustrativ angesehen werden.“ In diesen Bildern ist der Ursprung vieler Entwicklungen zu erkennen, die sich in der heutigen Gesellschaft der USA abzeichnen. 

 

 

In der Buchmann Box präsentieren wir erstmalig die neue Werkgruppe To Joseph Palmer. Sie beinhaltet 24 kleine, juwelenartige Porträts von Menschen mit Bärten — doch sind es nicht die Bärte an sich, die den Fokus dieser Arbeit bilden. Die Aufnahmen sind Joseph Palmer gewidmet, einem Farmer aus New England im 19. Jahrhundert. Er trug einen langen, wallenden Bart zu einer Zeit, in der Bärte gesellschaftlich nicht akzeptiert waren. Eines Nachts wurde Palmer von vier Männern überfallen, die ihm seinen Bart abschneiden wollten. Er verteidigte sich erfolgreich mit einem Messer, kam deshalb ins Gefängnis und erhielt eine Strafe von 10 Dollar auferlegt. Als er aus Prinzip die Zahlung der Strafe verweigerte, musste er die nächsten 15 Monate hinter Gittern verbringen. Während seines Gefängnisaufenthaltes schrieb er Briefe an die lokale Zeitung, die daraufhin auch in weiteren Tageszeitungen veröffentlicht wurden und ihn zu einer cause célèbre machten. Nach seiner Freilassung stieß Palmer zu den Kreisen um Thoreau und Emerson und schloss sich der radikalen aber spektakulär gescheiterten utopischen Kommune Fruitlands an.

Zur Zeit von Palmers Tod, in den 1870er Jahren, waren Bärte stark in Mode gekommen. Palmers Grabstein schmückt ein Marmorbildnis mit seinem mächtigen Bart und die Inschrift „Persecuted For Wearing the Beard“ (Verfolgt wegen Barttragens). 

Unterhalb Sternfelds Bilder läuft ein historischer Text über Palmer von Stewart Holbrook aus dem Jahr 1944. To Joseph Palmer steht somit in der Folge zahlreicher weiterer, Text und Bild verknüpfender Arbeiten in seinem Schaffen (On This Site (2009 in der Buchmann Galerie ausgestellt), Treading on Kings, When it Changed, Sweet Earth).

Den Personen in To Joseph Palmer wurde die Geschichte dieses Verfechters der Meinungsfreiheit erzählt und alle waren bereit, sich an diesem Projekt zu Ehren von Palmer zu beteiligen. Gleichzeitigt würdigt es das Recht aller Menschen, ihre friedfertigen Überzeugungen und Praktiken ohne Angst vor Verfolgung leben zu dürfen.

Für weitere Informationen über den Künstler und für Bildmaterial können Sie sich gerne jederzeit mit der Galerie in Verbindung setzen.

 

Joel Sternfeld

Born 1944, lives and works in New York.

Education

Dartmouth College

Grants and Awards

2004 Citigroup Photography Prize, in association with 
The Photographer’s Gallery
1990-91 Prix de Rome
1987-88 Shifting Foundation Fellowship
1985 Dartmouth College, Artist-in-Resident 
Grand Prize Winner, Higashikawa Festival of Photography, 
  Japan
1978, 1982 Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
1980 National Endowment for the Arts Photographers Fellowship

Solo Exhibitions

2019
Buchmann Galerie, Berlin
2017
Buchmann Box
Buchmann Galerie
2014
Buchmann Galerie, Berlin
2013
Buchmann Lugano, Lugano
2012
Photographica Fine Art
Albertina, Vienna
Buchmann Galerie, Berlin
C/O, Berlin
Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York City
2011
Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam
Museum Folkwang, Essen
2010
Museo D'Arte Contemporanea (MACRO), Rome
2009
Buchmann Galerie, Berlin
2008
Buchmann Galerie, Berlin
Luhring Augustine, New York
2007
Russel Bowman Art Advisory, Chicago
2006
Haines Gallery, San Francisco
2005
Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York
2004
Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York
2003
LisboaPhoto, Lisbon
2002
Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York
The Photographers’ Gallery, London
White Box Gallery, New York
2001
Haines Gallery, San Francisco
MoCA – The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
PaceWildenstein Gallery, New York
2000
Museum für Sepukralkultur, Kassel
1999
Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
1998
Moreau Galleries, Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame/IN
Stadthaus Ulm
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland/OH
The Parts Gallery, Minneapolis
1997
PaceWildenstein Gallery, Los Angeles
PaceWildenstein MacGill, New York
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
1992
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
1991
Museum of Modern Art, New York
1989
Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York
1987
Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX; Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit
1985
Afterimage Gallery, Dallas
Dartmouth College Hanover
Higashikawa International Festival, Japan
1984
Daniel Wolf Inc., New York
Friends of Photography, Carmel
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Visual Studies Workshop
1982
Blue Sky Gallery, Portland
California Museum of Photography, University of Riverside
Grapestake Gallery, San Francisco
1981
Daniel Wolf Inc., New York
The Photography Gallery, La Jolla
1980
Daniel Wolf Inc., New York
1976
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia

Group Exhibitions

2020
American Photography, Albertina, Vienna
2017
The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin TX
Landscapes and People, Albertina, Vienna
2016
The Edge Of The Earth: Climate Change In Photography And Video, Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto
The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip, The Detroit Institute of Arts
Landscapes After Ruskin: Redefining The Sublime, Hall Art Foundation, Reading, UK
Seht, Da Ist Der Mensch, Baumwollspinnerei Halle 12, Leipzig
Magical Surfaces: The Uncanny in Contemporary Photography, Parasol unit, London (cat.)
2015
Time/Frame, New Orleans Museum of Art NOMA
River Crossings, Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Catskill, NY
40 Years / 40 Artists, University Museum of Contemporary Art - UMass Amherst, Amherst
2014
Road Trip, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux
2013
Austin Museum of Art, Laguna Gloria, Austin
Buchmann Galerie Agra, Lugano
Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee
Istanbul Modern, Istanbul
2012
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg
Henry Art Gallery, Seattle
The Saatchi Gallery, London
2011
Foto Colectania Foundation, Barcelona, Spain (cat.)
Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort
Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, Amsterdam
UCR/California, Museum of Photography, Riverside (cat.)
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg
2010
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio
Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia
Hasted Hunt Kraeulter, New York.
Luhring Augustine, New York
Museum Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen, Magdeburg
The Richard L. Nelson Gallery & The Fine Arts Collection, University of California, Davis
2009
3rd Fotofestival Mannheim Ludwigshafen Heidelberg, Mannheim
Buchmann Galerie, Berlin
Castillo de Santa Bárbara, C/Jovellanos, Alicante
Moderna Museet, Skeppsholmen, Stockholm
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent
2008
Art Institute Chicago
Whitney Museum, New York
2007
Art Center at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie (cat.)
Center for Photographs, The Getty, Los Angeles
Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago
The Frances Lehman Loeb
Yancey Richardson Gallery
2006
Center for Photographs, The Getty, Los Angeles
Fotomuseum Winterthur, Zürich
Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah
Museum Folkwang, Essen
The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle
Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York
2005
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
2004
CUNY, Queens, Flushing
Kennedy Boesky Photographs, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York
Russell Bowman Art Advisory, Chicago
Sutton Lane, London
The Museum of Photography, Film & Television, Bradfort
The Photographer Gallery, London, UK traveling to
Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf
The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Yossi Miller Gallery, New York
2003
Lisboa Photo, Lisbon, Portugal
2002
Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York
2001
Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
1993
New Society for Fine Art, Berlin
1992
Museum of Modern Art, New York
1991
Museum of Modern Art, New York
1989
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Royal Academy of Art, London; The Australian National Gallery of Art,
Canberra
The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
1987
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
1985
Barbican Art Gallery, London
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick
Light Gallery, New York
Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York
Whitney Museum, New York
1984
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
Art 45 Institute, Montreal, Canada
California Museum of Photography at University of California 
 Riverside
International Center of Photography, New York
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Paris Art Center, Paris, France
1982
Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover
1981
Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
1980
Creative Artists Public Service Photography Exhibition, New York
George Eastman House, Rochester
1978
Photokina, Kunsthalle, Köln
Polaroid Corporation, Cambridge
1977
Festival d’Arles, Arles
1976
The Print Club, Philadelphia

Selected Collections

Dallas Art Museum
Deutsche Börse Art Collection, Frankfurt/M.
European American Bank, New York
Folkwang Museum, Essen
Forbes Collection, New York, NY
Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland
Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands
Goldman Sachs, New York
F.C. Gundlach Collection, Hamburg
Hallmark Collections, Kansas City
High Museum of Art, Atlanta
Houston Museum of Modern Art
ING Belgium Art Collection
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
Maison Europeene de la Photographie, Paris
Museum Folkwang Essen, Essen, Germany
Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Seattle Art Museum
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica, CA
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
The Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Yale University Art Gallery, New York