The photographer’s new collection bends a ubiquitous, mass-produced object to frame a portrait of American culture.
Like much of Lee Friedlander’s work, the ninety-seven photographs in his new collection, “Chain Link,” explore broad themes—sex, family, religion, race, nature—with striking wit. Friedlander has released previous series focussing on television screens, on the stems of flowers, and on the backs of heads, and his new book is similarly single-minded. In this series, which is made up of photographs shot over the course of around fifty years, the world is seen through the gray diamonds of chain-link fences. Using this zigzagging thread, Friedlander ties together scenes in distant cities and decades, and bends a ubiquitous, mass-produced object to frame a portrait of American culture.