January 29th, 2016

Touring Exhibit Brings Robert Frank’s Work To Younger Generation

Robert Frank told the crowd at the opening of his new exhibition that having his work in a touring show is an opportunity to “have the photography come to life again.” The retrospective exhibition, “Robert Frank: Books and Films, 1947-2016,”  opened at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University last night,  and will also be on view at 50 universities, art schools, museums and other non-profit spaces worldwide throughout the year. The 91-year-old master photographer was accompanied by his wife, June Leaf, and renowned book publisher Gerhard Steidl. Steidl’s company, Steidl Verlag, organized the touring exhibition.

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On stage from left to right: photographer Robert Frank, Tisch School of the Arts Dean Allyson Green, publisher Gerhard Steidl.

Frank—who left his home country of Switzerland for the United States in 1947 and captured post-war American society in his influential book The Americans, published in 1959 briefly answered questions provided by both Steidl and audience members. The show includes images from The Americans and other series Frank has made throughout his career, personal correspondence with curators and editors, and reproductions of contact sheets, showing images he selected by circling them with a red grease pencil. Frank said the photos included in the show “make you really think back about life… it can be better to look forward, but I’m happy to see the photographs live again and to be appreciated,” he said. Frank, whose documentary work and artistic experimentations have influenced generations of photographers noted, “Sometimes a photograph can live longer because it becomes an image that lives in people’s minds and they remember it. That probably is the best thing about my photography and I’m here to say thank you, and come again.” Steidl said the show “is for younger generations” less familiar with Frank’s work.

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Included in the exhibition are contact sheets from Frank’s travels across the U.S., with selected images marked.

As the exhibition tours the U.S., each venue will receive its own set of exhibition prints. At NYU, where the show is on view through February 11, the images, printed on three-meter-long banners, are unframed and stuck to the walls. By agreement with Frank, all the paper banners are to be disposed of after display to ensure that none of the images are sold or re-used.

In looking back on the decisions he has made, Frank said, “America is the country that has given me encouragement. It’s the place to be. For me, it worked out that way….it might not be this way today for many young people, but at that time it definitely was and [I am thankful] to be here and look at all the people who come to see the work.”

November 16th, 2012

Aperture and Paris Photo Announce First PhotoBook Prize, PhotoBook of the Year

The cover of David Galjaard’s Concresco, which won the First PhotoBook Prize. © David Galjaard.

Paris Photo and the Aperture Foundation announced the winners of the first annual Paris Photo Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards today.

The First PhotoBook Award went to Dutch photographer David Galjaard for his self-published book Concresco, about the remaining cold-war-era bunkers that dot the Albanian landscape. Open to all new bookmakers, the award includes a $10,000 prize.

An interior spread from Galjaard’s Concresco. © David Galjaard.

The PhotoBook of the Year award went to Anders Peterson for his City Diary (Volumes 1-3), which were designed by Greger Ulf Nilson and published by Steidl, and which depict the gritty sides of St. Petersburg, Stockholm and Tokyo.

The cover of Vol. 1 of Anders Petersen’s City Diary, which was named PhotoBook of the Year. © Anders Petersen, published by Steidl.

In the fall edition of Aperture’s Photobook Review, which announced the shortlisted books, the descriptions of the two eventual winners highlighted not only the content of the images, but the quality of the bookmaking.

Concresco is a consistently and elegantly rendered physical object,” the short review pointed out. “This three-volume set of soft-cover paperbacks with gatefold-like flaps is densely printed on every surface,” a review noted of Petersen’s City Diary. “The ink fumes that emanate from the rough-cardboard envelope that acts as packaging are fittingly as strong and musky as the photographs themselves.”

The envelope packaging of Petersen’s City Diary. © Anders Petersen, published by Steidl.

The prizes were awarded by a jury that included Roxana Marcoci, curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Thomas Seelig, curator and curator of collections at the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland; Britt Salvesen, curator and head of the Wallis Annenberg Department of Photography and the department of prints and drawings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Els Barents, director of the Huis Marseille Museum for Photography; and Timothy Prus, curator of AMC Books, selected the winners for both prizes.

All of the 30 books shortlisted for these prizes will be exhibited at Aperture in New York and will then tour to colleges, libraries and public exhibition space. To review the full shortlist visit The PhotoBook Review site here.