Frank, Robert - BLACK WHITE AND THINGS
- Paperback: 39 pages
- Publisher: Steidl/The Robert Frank Project (January 31, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 3865218083
- ISBN-13: 978-3865218087
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.3 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 470 gr
Containing photographs taken between 1948 and 1952, Black White and Things was in it´s original form a book hand-crafted byRobert Frank in 1952. Frank made three identical copies designed by Werner Zryd, each with spiral binding and original photographs. Printed for an exhibition at the National Gallery in Washington in 1994, Frank has redesigned the book.
Separated into three categories "black", "white", and "things", which are shaped more by mood than subject matter, the book traces Frank´s travels to cities such as Paris, New York, valencia and St. Louis. In the white section for instance, he brings photographs of vastly different motifs unser a single aesthetic umbrella - his first wife reclining with their new-born baby, peasants squatting against a flaking wall in Peru, and a business man strolling past a snow-decked tree in London.
For Frank, as always, his aim is a humble one shaped by sentiment: "somber people and black events / quiet people and peaceful places / and the things people have come in contact with / this, I try to show in my photographs."
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.