A rite of passage for most young Americans is getting in a car and taking a road trip with no real purpose except to see where that road will lead you. Since coming to New York from Southern California in the mid-’50s, photographer Lee Friedlander’s path has taken him from capturing images of jazz musicians and artists in New York City to, most famously, a nude photo shoot with a young Madonna in the late ’70s (she was paid a small modeling fee of $25 for the black-and-white shots, which sold last year at Christie’s for $37,500). For his latest exhibition, America by Car, he rented a car and drove cross-country, beautifully capturing the American landscape of roadside bars, motels, churches, and monuments, as well as his immediate surroundings, such as the steering wheel, dashboard, rearview mirror, and windshield—because it’s not always the places we visit that are so important, but how we spend our time getting there.

Sept. 4-Nov. 28, 2010