Robert Frank - Times Square
Robert Frank
Times Square
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1961, printed 1978
8 1/8 x 12 inches

Signed and dated in ink margin recto and verso; titled in pencil with artist's stamps verso.

Robert Frank - Grand Staircase Concord Hotel (Catskills)
Robert Frank
Grand Staircase Concord Hotel (Catskills)
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1955, Printed 1955
8 3/4 x 14 1/2 Inches

Taken for Fortune,' 'Return to Time Inc.,' and FORTUNE use, assignment number, and information stamps with credit, caption, date, and numerical and reduction notations in pencil on the reverse.

Robert Frank - N.Y.C., 1954
Robert Frank
N.Y.C., 1954
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1954, printed later
8 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches, paper 11 x 14 inches

Signed in ink and variously numbered in pencil (verso).

Robert Frank - Peru
Robert Frank
Peru
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1948, printed c. 1970
9 x 13 inches, paper 11 x 14 inches

Signed in ink in the margin (recto)

Robert Frank - London 1951
Robert Frank
London 1951
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1951, printed 1970's
8 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches

Signed, titled, and dated on print recto. Signed and photographers stamp on print verso

View Robert Frank - Times Square photograph
View Robert Frank - Grand Staircase Concord Hotel (Catskills) photograph
View Robert Frank - N.Y.C., 1954 photograph
View Robert Frank - Peru photograph
View Robert Frank - London 1951  photograph

An artist with multimedia interests, especially photography, film, and video. Pioneer of a new pictorial language in photography. Without a doubt, one of the most talked-about art photographers of the 20th century. Robert Frank began studying photography in 1941 and spent the next six years working for commercial photography and graphic design studios in Zurich, Geneva, and Basel. In 1947 he traveled to the United States, where Alexey Brodovitch hired him to make fashion photographs at Harper's Bazaar. Although a few magazines accepted Frank's unconventional use of the 35-millimeter Leica for fashion work, he disliked the limitations of fashion photography and resigned a few months after he was hired.

Between 1950 and 1955 he worked freelance producing photojournalism and advertising photographs for LIFE, Look, Charm, Vogue, and others. He also garnered support for his independently produced street photographs from important figures in the New York art world, including Edward Steichen, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Walker Evans, who became an important American advocate of Frank's photography. It was Evans who suggested that he apply for the Guggenheim Fellowship that freed him to travel throughout the country in 1955 and 1956 and make the photographs that would result in his most famous book, The Americans, first published in France as Les Américains in 1957.

After its publication in America in 1959, he devoted an increasing amount of time to making films, including Pull My Daisy and Cocksucker Blues, both of which exemplify avant-garde filmmaking of the era. Since 1970, Frank has divided his time between Nova Scotia and New York; he continues to produce still photographs in addition to films.

"The Americans" was one of the most revolutionary volumes in the history of photography, and it was a source of controversy when it was published in the United States. Frank's cutting perspective on American culture, combined with his carefree attitude toward traditional photographic technique, shocked most Americans who saw it at the time. During the next decade, however, these qualities of his photography became touchstones for a new generation of American photographers; indeed, Frank's work continues to shape contemporary photography.

"Before Frank, the visual orientation of photographs had been straight, horizontal, vertical. The subject of the picture was always obvious. You knew what the picture was about and what it meant to say. Frank, the shadowy little man, came along and changed the angles, made graininess a virtue, obscure lighting a benefit. His pictures were messy; you weren't sure what to feel, who or what to focus on. Perhaps more importantly, Frank intellectually changed photography – that is, what a photographer was supposed to look at. ...Frank, as Janet Malcolm wrote, has been overvalued as a social critic and undervalued as a photographic innovator."
– Charlie Leduff

Lisa Hostetler
Handy et al. Reflections in a Glass Eye: Works from the International Center of Photography Collection, New York: Bulfinch Press in association with the International Center of Photography, 1999, pp. 215-16.