Naked Ladies

Lee Friedlander at Pace is the Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik

The Daily Pic: Lee Friedlander channels porn without making it.

After the beautification of the Egon Schiele nudes in yesterday's Pic, here's a kind of antidote: Two 1982 nudes by Lee Friedlander, on view now at Pace gallery on New York's Upper East Side. Friedlander is one of the few art photographers I know who unashamedly channels porn in his nudes, yet without fetishizing the link. With Friedlander, there's a powerful sense that he's an open-eyed observer of the world and everything in it (including girly pictures). But there's also a sense that his way of observing – his particular unweighted glance – is unique to him, and more in contact with the real than most. He confronts us with the raw facts of sex and nudity, as we've lived them in the U.S. His nudes are neither salacious nor prim nor arty.

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