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Joel Sternfeld's first European retrospective with 130 works from the past three decades at Museum Folkwang

The Folkwang Museum has dedicated an exhibition to American photographer Joel Sternfeld (*1944, New York), his first European retrospective, consisting of about 130 works spanning thee decades.

‘Joel Sternfeld – Colour photographs since 1970’ encompasses a total of eleven projects. One focal point is the 60 photographs from his previously unpublished early work, dating from 1969 to the late 1970s.

Joel’s view tends to focus on his homeland of America with all its idiosyncrasies, the people and the characteristic landscapes. The exhibition features works from the following series (among others): American Prospects, Stranger Passing, On This Site, Sweet Earth, Walking the High Line, Oxbow Archive, Treading on Kings and When it changed.

Next to Stephen Shore, Joel is considered one of the most important New Color Photographers, who discovered colour in art photography in 1970s. Influenced by the Bauhaus colour theories, the application of colour became a pivotal axis of style.

He studied at Dartmouth College and met the pioneer of artistic colour photography William Eggleston in Harvard, whose exhibition at MOMA in 1976 saw colour photography flourish into a respected art form.

Ever since the early days of his photographic work, the book has been one of his favourite forms of presentation. Over the last 20 years, eleven photo books on his projects were released. Alongside the exhibition, Edition Folkwang/Steidl will publish the book on Sternfeld’s early, previously unpublished work.

The exhibition is curated by Ute Eskildesn and after its run at Museum Folkwang, it will go on tour to Amsterdam, Berlin and Vienna.