Joel Sternfeld first came to international prominence with the publication American Prospects (1987). This landmark study, the result of three years of travel across the United States, broke new ground in numerous ways and has influenced an entire generation of artists. Amongst its many concerns were utopic and dystopic possibilities of the American experience. It was the first of four national surveys that Sternfeld conducted about the United States and its implications.
Sternfeld has gone on to publish twelve other books all of which reflect concern withthe sustainable and unsustainable aspects of human life on earth now.
In 2001, he authored Walking the High Line, which proved to be pivotal in the successful struggle to convert an abandoned elevated railroad in Manhattan into a park. His four-part sequence of books – Sweet Earth (2004), When it Changed (2008), Oxbow Archive (2008) and iDubai (2010) – are meant to function in unison as an integrated statement about living in concert with nature, the dangers of human engendered climate change, the beauties of the seasons in a single field in Massachusetts and the look of unbridled consumerism in the malls of Dubai.
He is the recipient of numerous awards, including two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Prix-de-Rome (1990 – 91) and the Citibank Photography Award (2004). He has exhibited widely, most recently at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum Folkwang, Essen. He is represented by Luhring Augustine Gallery in New York. He lives in New York City and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville/Yonkers, NY.