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Lee Friedlander: The Little Screens

Lee Friedlander’s The Little Screens first appeared as a 1963 picture essay in Harper’s Bazaar, with commentary by Walker Evans. Six untitled photographs show television screens broadcasting glowing images of faces and figures into unoccupied rooms in homes and motels across America. Between 1963 and 1969 the series grew but was not brought together in full until a 2001 exhibition at the Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.

In this book, Saul Anton argues that The Little Screens ‘operate both as a collection and much like a single photographic work conceived as open-ended, potentially infinite’. Marking the historical intersection of modern art and photography at the moment when television came into its own, Friedlander’s images reflect the competing logics of the museum, print and electronic media, and anticipate the issues that have emerged in a world of ubiquitous ‘little screens’.