Robert Frank


Robert Frank: Books and Films 1947-2017

January 4–February 25, 2018

Lecture by Gerhard Steidl: Thursday, January 4, 2018, 5:00 PM

Destruction Dance: Sunday, February 25, 2018, 7:30 PM

Robert Frank is considered the inventor of street photography. With his method of sequencing and composing pictures in intuitive series beyond the traditional photographic essay, he has developed new forms of expression within the medium of photography.

Despite Frank’s significant influence on photographers of his own and subsequent generations, there are only few exhibitions of his work. Frank’s original silver gelatin prints are today fragile objects, and most are not on public display. Galleries, museums, and investors lend Frank originals only under limited conditions of display with exorbitant insurance costs, which makes organizing traditional exhibitions very difficult. This traveling exhibition, meant to be shown primarily at universities and schools, seeks to remedy that.

Conceived by Robert Frank and Gerhard Steidl, this exhibition shows Frank’s work in photos, books, and films in a direct, accessible manner. Frank’s images are printed on sheets of newsprint and hung on the walls or from the ceiling. Frank’s films and videos, which are so often overshadowed by his photographic work, are shown on small portable “beamers” projecting them directly onto the walls. Finally, the exhibition will be disposed of after display, thus circumventing the normal cycle of speculation and consumption in the art market. When the idea for this pop-up show first reached Frank in his small, crooked house in the Canadian village of Mabou, he said: “Cheap, quick, and dirty, that’s how I like it!”

In addition to the films in the exhibition, the NW Film Center will be holding a film series of Robert Frank’s work during the month of January.

This exhibition is printed by Steidl and made possible by the generous support of The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation/Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer, Steve Tisch, the Steve Tisch Family Foundation, and the Richard Ehrlich Family Foundation.


2018Blue SkyRobert Frank