• In 1978, Joel Sternfeld began setting out on road trips around America. Nearly a decade later he collected his images as American Prospects, a landmark book in US photography, where small-town scenes are filled with ennui and quiet fear. An exhibition, Colour Photographs: 1977-1988 by Joel Sternfeld, is at Beetles + Huxley, London, from 27 January–18 February. All photographs: Joel Sternfeld, courtesy Luhring Augustine Gallery and Beetles + Huxley Gallery
  • Sternfeld funded his trips, and the VW campervan he drove, with a Guggenheim fellowship. ‘I was propelled by this very strong sense that I might disgrace myself, that I was taking this wonderful opportunity and absolutely blowing it,’ he tells the Guardian’s Sean O’Hagan in a new interview
  • Using a large-format camera, and colour film at a time when black and white was still very much more revered, he showed a darkly funny, bleak, but not unromantic vision of America
  • ‘With its merging of the deadpan and the ominous, it has been as influential on succeeding generations of documentary photographers as Stephen Shore’s Uncommon Places or William Eggleston’s Guide,’ O’Hagan writes
  • The new exhibition shows off some images that have never been seen before. ‘I’ve been so busy making work, going from one project to the next without pause, that I’ve never had the time to reflect on what I’ve done,’ he says
  • One later series is entitled Sweet Earth: Experimental Utopias in America, which charted the off-grid communities that aim to build independent modes of living within the US
  • Another celebrated series is On This Site: Landscapes in Memoriam, where he photographed sites of American trauma, like the locations of the Rodney King beating and murder of Martin Luther King
  • When asked by the Guardian to choose his best shot, he chose his series When It Changed, documenting the stricken expressions of people at a climate change conference

This article was sourced from http://news5boston.com