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Photo by Bill Orcutt

Joel Sternfeld

Landscape with Path: A Railroad Artifact

June 2011 – June 2011

Billboard next to the High Line at 18th Street and 10th Avenue

June 2 – 30, 2011

Joel Sternfeld photographed the High Line over the course of a year in 2000 – 2001. The images he shot of the space before its conversion into a public park show it as it was for many years: overgrown with wild plants; an untamed meadow-like space cutting through Manhattan’s West Side. These images were important catalysts in conveying the potential for the space as a public green space, and helped convert many people into supporters of the movement to save it from demolition.

For the High Line, Sternfeld has curated the series Landscape with Path, which celebrates the High Line’s dual nature as an urban walkway and garden promenade, and brings the work of photographers Robert Adams and Darren Almond, as well as Sternfeld to park visitors on a grand scale. A Railroad Artifact, 30th St, May 2000 is the first work in Landscape with Path. One of Sternfeld’s most iconic images of the High Line, the photograph looks east from the High Line at the Rail Yards with a view of the Empire State Building.

(1-2) Photo by Bill Orcutt; (3) Photo courtesy Friends of the High Line. 

Artist bio

Joel Sternfeld (b. 1944, New York) lives and works in New York. Known for his photographs of people and the American landscape, Sternfeld has had solo exhibitions of his work in New York, Rome, Berlin, Lisbon, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, among other cities. Recent solo exhibitions include Luhring Augustine, New York (2012); the Albertina Museum, Vienna (2012); Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany (2011); and the Fotofrafiemuseum Amsterdam (2011). He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Citigroup Photography Prize (2004); the Prix de Rome (1990-91); Shifting Foundation Fellowship (1987-88); Grand Prize Winner, Higashikawa Festival of Photography, Japan (1985); Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1978, 1982); and the National Endowment for the Arts Photographers Fellowship (1980).


This High Line Art Commission is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art Commissions are made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr. This program is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties. In-kind sponsorship for this series is provided by Edison Properties.