I had the pleasure of seeing the Robert Frank exhibit at the National Gallery on the next-to-the-last day of the Bush Administration. Walked through with new friend Susana Raab, whose work I’ve enjoyed over the years. The highlight for me were Frank’s contact sheets. All the different views of the car accident in Winslow, Arizona. Some frames that only required one shot. I believe there were four that led to this frame:
Nearly an entire contact sheet for this one:
You’re not supposed to do this, but I’m quick with the cellphone.
It was interesting to see how the exhibit was arranged, in sequence, just like the book. But “The Americans” is so much a book that I didn’t really feel the flow of the pages while seeing them on the wall. There’s so much going on with the page turns and white space in the book; and that experience didn’t translate to the gallery setting, for what it’s worth.
For completists, the National Gallery has the sculpture of prints that Frank made, when he drilled through them and mounted them with bolts to a block of wood. Good, cranky stuff.
More Robert Frank on 2point8.
Updated: And here’s curator Sarah Greenough talking about the exhibition.