JOEL STERNFELD : NAGS HEAD
(english edition)

Sternfeld’s candid images of an Outer Banks summer, which went on to inform his seminal work American Prospects.

In the summer of 1975, facing surgery with the potential of paralysis, a young Joel Sternfeld went off in search of a last idyll?and found it in Nags Head, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. From June to August he captured the beach town floating in time, a sense of spatial and temporal fluidity. Sternfeld’s images show beachgoers of all ages enjoying scenes of leisure and partying in what became his first body of work addressing a season.
Yet this summer sojourn was tragically broken by the news of the death of his brother; Sternfeld returned to New York, never to go back to Nags Head. Eventually he began working again and one day ventured to Rockaway Beach, Queens. Here he took a picture in which «all at once the ugly scene appeared beautiful to me»: the hues of sand, apartments and sky fuse into a cohesive whole. This photo, with its conceptual roots in Nags Head, would lead to the color structures of Sternfeld’s magnum opus American Prospects, his ambitious realization of what he had always wanted to do: follow the seasons across America.
A major figure in the photography world for nearly five decades, Joel Sternfeld was born in New York City in 1944. He has received numerous awards, including two Guggenheim fellowships, a Prix de Rome and the Citibank Photography Award. Sternfeld holds the Nobel Foundation Chair in Art and Cultural History at Sarah Lawrence College.

  • Pages

    96

  • Language

    English

  • Publishing date

    February 2024

  • Size

    26.1 x 31 cm

  • Editor

    Steidl

  • Weight

    1133 gr

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