Kyoto, 1979 Friedlander, Lee  (American, b.1934)

I first went to Japan in 1977 and found the whole country ablaze with blossom. I went again in 1979, 1981 and 1984, always at cherry blossom time. As far as I knew, Japan was always abloom.– Lee Friedlander

This print from Lee Friedlander’s 1986 portfolio, Cherry Blossom Time in Japan, is printed by Thomas Palmer. Cherry Blossom Time in Japan presents images that the artist made during is four trips to Japan. The groundbreaking 25 photogravures appear as examples of radical picture-making as few serious photographers would have dared to photograph cherry blossoms with anything other than color film at that time. The result is a new kind of beauty, with many of the compositions bordering on visual chaos. The images in this portfolio serve as a precursor for much of Friedlander’s late landscape work, which was exhibited to great acclaim in his 2005 Museum of Modern Art retrospective.