The Robert Mann Gallery, located at 210 Eleventh Avenue in Chelsea, is exhibiting the work of Robert Frank in their renovated space until December 23rd. Frank's worked offered a unique outsider's view of American society. The show represents a collection of rare Frank prints and includes iconic images from The Americans, his most notable work, as well as earlier poetic photographs taken in Paris and London. I'm heading over there in the next couple of weeks and I honestly cannot wait to see these works with my own two eyes.
Robert Mann Gallery's presentation of Robert Frank coincides with the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Americans. The anniversary is marked by a substantial touring monographic exhibition and scholarly catalogue organized by Sarah Greenough at the National Gallery of Art, stopping this fall in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans was previously exhibited at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Here is an excerpt from the Gallery about the exhibit:
Fifty years later, The Americans still simmers with cutting, poetic observations of quotidian life. The Americans is often noted for what a personal vision it is, an idea particularly relevant to an earlier photograph, not included in the book, in which Frank looks down on his wife Mary nursing their infant son Pablo, two kittens playing nearby.
Elsewhere a lone figure, possibly illicit, trolls the barren cobblestone streets of our own West Chelsea, framed under the skeleton arm of a car's side view mirror.
If you're in New York, this show must not be missed.
His work is so evocative. I've learned to be more comfortable with my camera by studying the works of masters like Frank. I love this quote from Frank printed on the NPR website:
"...[Frank revisited] one of his favorites, a private moment on a hill in San Francisco. At the top of the frame is a broad gray sky; below are the city's hills and houses in stark white. In the foreground, sitting on a hill overlooking the scene, is a couple, the man turned to the camera with an angry scowl on his face. The invisible photographer had been caught.
"All I could do is just stand there with my camera and just keep photographing, but a little bit away from him so he could think and accept that maybe I photographed the panorama of the city," Frank remembers.
"Those are the difficult moments every photographer has to get over and get away with it and not be discouraged," he says. "Because if one is sensitive, it has an effect on you. So maybe it's better not to be sensitive as a photographer and just go on. Many photographers today have that but I never had that. I think it's nice to be sensitive as a photographer and maybe it's harder."