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Robert Frank
Robert Frank

Robert Frank

Country: United States
Birth: 1924 | Death: 2019

Robert Frank is one of the most acclaimed photographers of the 20th century. His seminal book, The Americans, is arguably the most influential publication of photography among artists that followed. In 2009, a major substantial touring monographic exhibition and scholarly catalogue organized by Sarah Greenough made stops at the National Gallery of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans coincides with the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Americans, first released in 1958 by Parisian publisher Robert Delpire, and in 1959 by Grove Press, which made the book available to a wider audience.

Source: Robert Mann Gallery


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.

Source: The International Center of Photography

 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Tamara Dean
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Tamara Dean (b. 1976, Sydney, Australia) is a photographic artist whose works explore the informal rites of passage and rituals of young people within the natural world.Her solo shows include Ritualism, Divine Rites, This too Shall Pass and Only Human.Dean has received numerous awards including a $10,000 High Commendation prize in the 2013 Moran Contemporary Photographic Award, the 2011 Olive Cotton Award and 2009 Sydney Life: Art & About.Dean’s works have been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally. Her works have featured in ‘Dangerous Beauty’ curated by Stephan Stoyanov, Bulgaria 2013, the 2013 Aspettando FotoLeggendo festival in Rome, Fotofever Brussels Art Fair, 2012 and Pingyao Photography Festival, China, 2012 as well as at leading Australian galleries including Inheritance 2009 and Hijacked 2 – New Australian & German Photography 2010, both at the Australian Centre for Photography; Sydney Now – New Australian Photojournalism, Museum of Sydney 2007; Terra Australis Incognita at Monash Gallery of Art.Dean has been awarded artist residencies with ArtOmi, New York (2013), and previously Taronga Zoo, Montsalvat and repeatedly in the remote gold-mining town of Hill End, NSW.For a decade Dean was a member of Oculi photographic collective.Dean’s work is held in a number of public and private collections including Artbank, Sydney; The Francis J. Greenburger Collection, New York; the Mordant Family Collection, Australia; and is represented by Olsen Irwin Gallery Sydney and James Makin Gallery Melbourne.Source: www.tamaradean.com
Leo Rubinfien
United States
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Leo Rubinfien (b. 1953, Chicago, Illinois) is an American photographer and essayist. He lives and works in New York City.Rubinfien first came to prominence as part of the circle of artist-photographers who investigated new color techniques and materials in the 1970s. His first one-person exhibition was held at Castelli Graphics, New York, in 1981 and he has since had solo exhibitions at institutions that include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University. He is the author of two books of photographs, A Map of the East (Godine, Thames & Hudson, Toshi Shuppan, 1992), and Wounded Cities (Steidl, 2008.)Rubinfien is also an active writer, who has published numerous extended essays on major photographers of the 20th century. He has contributed a memoir, “Colors of Daylight” to Starburst: Color Photography in America, 1970-1980 (Kevin Moore, Cincinnati Art Museum / Hatje Caantz 2010) and produced the long personal and historical essay in Wounded Cities, which recounts the attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the years that followed. In 2001-2004, he served as Guest Co-curator of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s retrospective of the work of Shomei Tomatsu and is co-author of Shomei Tomatsu / Skin of the Nation (Yale University Press, 2004). Since 2010, he has been serving as Guest Curator of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s retrospective of the work of Garry Winogrand, which will begin a world tour in 2013.Rubinfien’s work has been acquired for numerous public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Bibliotheque Nationale, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Israel Museum and the Center for Creative Photography of the University of Arizona. He has held fellowships with the Guggenheim Foundation, Japan Foundation, Asian Cultural Council, and the International Center for Advanced Studies at New York University, and in 2009 was awarded the Gold Prize at the 5th Lianzhou International Photography Festival.Source Wikipedia
Willy Ronis
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Willy Ronis was a French photographer, the best-known of whose work shows life in post-war Paris and Provence. Ronis was born in Paris; his father was a Jewish refugee from Odessa, and his mother was a refugee from Lithuania, both escaped from the pogroms. His father opened a photography studio in Montmartre, and his mother gave piano lessons. The boy's early interest was music and he hoped to become a composer. Returning from compulsory military service in 1932, his violin studies were put on hold because his father's cancer required Ronis to take over the family portrait business; Ronis' passion for music has been observed in his photographs. His father died in 1936, whereupon the business collapsed and Ronis went freelance, his first photographs being published in Regards. In 1937 he met David Szymin and Robert Capa, and did his first work for Plaisir de France; in 1938–39 he reported on a strike at Citroën and traveled in the Balkans. With Cartier-Bresson, Ronis belonged to Association des Écrivains et Artistes Révolutionnaires, and remained a man of the left. The work of photographers, Alfred Stieglitz and Ansel Adams inspired Ronis to begin exploring photography. After his father's death, in 1936, Ronis closed the studio and joined the photo agency Rapho, with Brassaï, Robert Doisneau and Ergy Landau. Ronis became the first French photographer to work for Life. In 1953, Edward Steichen included Ronis, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Izis, and Brassaï in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art titled Five French Photographers. In 1955, Ronis was included in the Family of Man exhibition. The Venice Biennale awarded him its Gold Medal in 1957. Ronis began teaching in the 1950s, and taught at the School of Fine Arts in Avignon, Aix-en-Provence and Saint Charles, Marseilles. In 1979 he was awarded the Grand Prix des Arts et Lettres for Photography by the Minister for Culture. Ronis won the Prix Nadar in 1981 for his photobook, Sur le fil du hasard. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Wiktoria Wojciechowska
Born 1991, Lublin, Poland. Lives and works in Lublin and Paris. Graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland, Wiktoria Wojciechowska was the 2015 winner of the Oskar Barnack Leica Newcomer Award for Short Flashes, portraits of drenched cyclists captured on the streets of Chinese’s metropolis. Between 2014 and 2016 she worked on the series Sparks, a portrait of a contemporary war based on the stories of people living in the Ukrainian conflict. This series received several awards, such Les Rencontres d’Arles New Discovery award’s public prize, Madame Figaro prize and the Prix pour la Photographie, Fondation des Treilles. Labirinto (2017-2019) Labirinto explores the architecture seen as a vector for an ideology, spreading in the inhabitants' thoughts. Architecture stays longer than its creators and might still smuggle fundamental ideas and atmosphere of passed days. 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They were to arrange the monuments and neighbourhood buildings - following the current of rationalist architecture, adopted by the fascist as the official style of the ideology - of five cities: Littoria, Pontinia, Sabaudia, Aprilia and Pomezia. Designed in the model of "the rural city", they should serve as a renewal of civilisation (Bonifica della cultura) and the so-called Mussolini's Arcadia for a "purified nation" of New Italians. This is how Littoria has been conceived, in 1932, from the mud and has been raised as the first of the five Mussolini's New Cities. Littoria was called the "jewel of Mussolini" and radiated by the combination of a stellate network of streets and curved ring roads, all converging towards the central square (Piazza del Littorio, now Piazza del Popolo). The labyrinth-like city was awaiting the new residents coming from the entire Italy to live in the empty buildings and appreciate the monumental solutions drawn upon the Roman Empire tradition. After the World War II, the city was rebaptized to Latina to obliterate its fascist past and became a temporary asylum for displaced Italians and migrants. Between 1957 and 1991, 80 000 foreigners passed by the refugee camp. They were coming from Eastern Europe, fleeing the communist regimes, from Vietnam, Northern Africa, etc. Despite the official closing of the camp in 1991, the migration is still an ongoing process. Today, the majority of newcomers originate from sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana, Mali… The artist describes her work: In the middle of the day, during "the siesta", when the city is hot and stuffy, the streets become empty. The pale facades of the buildings reflect the sunlight like mirrors and hurt the eyes. As in De Chirico's paintings, the palisades are playing with lights and shades. The emptiness creates an illusion that we are back in the 30s. Only the scratches and coloured patches on the walls unmask the timeworn city. From time to time, human figures flash by in the sun. These are those who get lost in this labyrinth, not knowing the rules of the city. They barely arrived there, but who gets into the labyrinth once, might not be able to wriggle out ever. Today in front of Palazzo M - built in the shape of the initial of Mussolini, a queue of immigrants is standing and waiting for their documents. Wiktoria Wojciechowska observes the city - silent witness of changing times - and recent immigrants, far from being integrated. During the conversations, they often mention the discrimination, preconceived ideas and the fear of locals; their superiority coming from the colonial past, racism. They feel suspended, awaiting decisions and documents, trapped in the city space. The locals expect to move the immigrants out of the cities; they are not to be seen, as they "change the landscape", they should be invisible. The ideology, which sponsored the constructions of the cities, is still lying under their foundation. Hidden but yet vivid, deep inside the consciousness. Looking further, Labirinto can be the metaphor of the current sociopolitical situation of all Europe, where newcomers from other continents are seeking for asylum and acceptance. The fear of locals (who might have been migrants too) remains, and politics don't promote reconciliation. The policy of fear enables the authorities to seize the control of population's thoughts and define the enemy. The works of Wiktoria Wojciechowska are juxtaposing the fascist architecture - undefined corners of streets, scattered walls, and remains of fascist sculptural iconography - and the portraits of recently arrived migrants. As they wander through a temporarily deserted city, occupying the scene of a petrified ideology, the public space, they reveal a striking contrast with this ideology embodied in the architecture.
Elisa Migda
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Graduated from the Sorbonne and the University Paris X in Literature, Human Sciences and Visual Anthropology (Formation de Recherches Cinématographiques created by Jean Rouch) after studying photography,video and graphic design, she joined the International photojournalism festival Visa pour l'Image Perpignan in communication and coordination. In 2016, she is also responsible for the creation of the art book fair FILAF ARTBOOK FAIR within the FILAF festival as well as the curating of the exhibitions A L'Italia by Carine Brancowitz and Before Landing by Michel Houellebecq in Perpignan. Passionate about film photography but also after having assisted various fashion and reportage photographers and contributed to various audiovisual creations, she decided to join a traditional photography laboratory in Paris, which offers more particularly the realization of large formats in order to revive the practice of printing and its processes. Eighteen months ago, she set up her own laboratory in Seine et Marne in order to carry out a more experimental and personal photographic work, that she has been pursuing for about fifteen years. In 2019, she participates in the group exhibition "Le Rêve d'un mouvement" in Paris with Gilles Roudière, Damien Daufresne, Stéphane Charpentier, Grégory Dargent, Frédéric D. Oberland and Gaël Bonnefon and presents her solo exhibition "Sweet Surrender" in Arles during the month of July with the Bergger group. Statement "My photographic work is long-term and develops around a personal project: to capture images that revolve around my life, intimate experiences and, from these photographic episodes were born portraits, self-portraits, imprints of existence. It is an abandonment where bodies and faces waver in obscure clarity, plunge into dazzle, navigate between interior and exterior spaces, loneliness and erasure from the world. In this universe, a feeling of sweet melancholy often emerges around themes such as energy, destruction, dealing with both the eternal and the ephemeral, disappearance and metamorphosis. These are trembling moments, a collection of images with fleeting, spectral visions, sprinkled with imperfections just as in our daily lives or in our dreams. There remains a disturbing strangeness, a subjective territory, trying and pensive, where the eyes are closed, frozen, elusive..."
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