Robert Frank’s photos will appear as newsprint copies at the Anna Leonowens Art Gallery for just one week, beginning today, and will then be destroyed. This is the landmark concept that caught my eye:
“Robert Frank was the first artist to insist that photographs alone tell a story, though he did relent and allow Jack Kerouac’s essay into the American version [of The Americans].”
Robert Frank divides his time between New York and Mabou in Cape Breton. Born in Zürich, Switzerland, the 89-year-old fled to the United States during the Second World War and established himself as a photojournalist. A Guggenheim Fellowship, awarded in March 1955 and renewed a year later, freed him to pursue his work independently, and he soon began to travel in hopes of making a book. Les Américains was published by Robert Delpire in Paris in 1958 and, as The Americans, by Grove Press in New York in 1959. It is regarded as one of the most influential photo books of all time, challenging the documentary tradition and the aesthetic of photography.
Frank taught a filmmaking class at NSCAD in the early 1970s. His wife, the artist June Leaf, was awarded an honorary degree from NSCAD in 1996.