April 30 - June 13, 2015
Opening reception: April 30, 5:30 - 7:30pm
32 East 57th Street, 9th Floor
Pace/MacGill Gallery is honored to present Robert Frank: Park/Sleep & Partida. Featuring the original prints and ephemera comprising his two most recent photographic books – Park/Sleep (Steidl 2013) and Partida (Steidl 2014) – the exhibition explores Robert Frank's continued interest in the narrative possibilities of the medium and the art of the photobook. With his passion for storytelling, Frank single-handedly altered the shape of photography by challenging the formal and conceptual expectations of a selectively sequenced set of images. Park/Sleep and Partida represent the latest installments in his ongoing exploration of this technique. The exhibition will be on view on the 9th floor of 32 East 57th Street from April 30 through June 13, 2015, with an opening reception on Thursday, April 30 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
Celebrated as one of the most important and influential photographers of the 20th century, Frank has consistently embraced the narrative potential of carefully composed photographic sequences. His search for "a more sustained form of expression" than the single, static image has resulted in compelling visual stories that actively engage viewers with their deliberately designed progression, compression of time, and layered meanings. Undoubtedly, Frank's best known sequence is The Americans, a seminal suite of 83 photographs from 1955-56 cross-country road trips that presents a penetrating portrait of post-war American life. Revolutionary in both subject matter and style, The Americans was also formally innovative, as Frank discerningly selected and arranged just 83 images from some 27,000 frames to illustrate his distinct vision of America. Moreover, he allowed the pictures to speak for themselves, employing their titles as the only form of didactic text.
While The Americans (published as Les Américains by Robert Delpire in Paris in 1958 and by Grove Press in New York in 1959) is regarded as the photobook masterpiece of Frank's career, he was thoughtfully editing and assembling his pictures into books of photographs with conceptual clarity and formal economy as early as 40 Fotos (1946), a hand-made portfolio of 40 images. He has continued this practice throughout his career with publications such as Peru (1949), Mary's Book (1949), Black White and Things (1950), and The Lines of My Hand (1989).
In collaboration with Gerhard Steidl and A-CHAN, Frank has created four photobooks of sequenced narratives in a proposed series of six. Like much of his later work, these publications collage text and imagery into poetic, personal meditations on memory, relationships, and place. In Park/Sleep and Partida, Frank continues his diaristic approach to storytelling, interweaving new and old images of family, friends, home, ordinary objects, interiors, and outdoor scenes. Accompanied by pieces of conversations, short poems, and thoughts in the form of printed text, these series of pictures are visual accounts of the people, places, and experiences that hold particular meaning to Frank.
Robert Frank (b. 1924, Zurich) is the recipient of numerous honors, including two Guggenheim Fellowships (1955, 1956); an American Film Institute grant (1970-71); the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie Erich Salomon Prize (1985); the Friends of Photography Peer Award for a Distinguished Career in Photography (1987); the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography (1996); the International Center of Photography Cornell Capa Infinity Award (2000); the Edward MacDowell Medal (2002); and the Roswitha Haftmann Prize (2014).
Since 1950, Frank's photography and films have been the subject of exhibitions worldwide. Recent exhibitions include Robert Frank in America at the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University (2014-15) and Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans, which debuted at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. in 2009, and traveled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2009) and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2009-10). His work can be found in domestic and international museum collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; Maison Européene de la Photographie, Paris; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate Modern, London; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Monographs of Frank's work include: The Americans (1958, 1959); New York to Nova Scotia (1986); The Lines of My Hand (1989); Black White and Things (1993); Moving Out (1994); Thank You (1996); Flamingo (1996); HOLD STILL ... Keep Going (2001); Frank Films: the film and video work of robert frank (2003); London/Wales (2003); Storylines (2004); Paris (2008); Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans (2009); and Robert Frank in America (2014).
In Arizona, n.d.; © Robert Frank
untitled, n.d.; © Robert Frank
June with Alberto Aspesi, Washington, D.C., 2008; © Robert Frank
One of the world's leading photography galleries, Pace/MacGill has been dedicated to advancing fine art photography for 30 years. Known for discovering artists, representing masters, and placing important collections and archives into major public institutions, Pace/MacGill has presented some 200 exhibitions and published numerous catalogues on modern and contemporary photography. Founded in 1983 by Peter MacGill, in collaboration with Arne Glimcher of Pace Gallery and Richard Solomon of Pace Editions, Pace/MacGill is located at 32 East 57th Street in New York City.