Joel Sternfeld, Canyon Country, California, June 1983
Joel Sternfeld: American Prospects
Sep 28, 2023 – Jan 21, 2024
Wien, Austria

Joel Sternfeld numbers among the most important protagonists of the New Color Photography movement, which discovered color for art photography in the 1970s. Sternfeld has spent years traveling around the United States as a critical observer, documenting the country and its inhabitants in all their idiosyncrasies and contradictions. His grandiose series American Prospects (1978–1986) focuses on how human beings relate to the American landscape – a landscape they’ve helped to shape. In addition to exposing a natural world subject to economic exploitation and threatened by accumulating ecological damage, the frequently whimsical everyday scenes captured by Sternfeld in this series also permit inferences as to the sociopolitical conditions of that era. American Prospects is part of a major donation to the Albertina Museum by the artist himself, and the present exhibition presents a first-ever survey of these donated works.