Robert Frank

© Ruth Erdt

Robert Frank

Photographer, Director and Cameraman

The Con­fed­er­a­tion is pay­ing trib­ute to the 85 year old Swiss pho­tog­ra­pher, Robert Frank, for his life's work. Few peo­ple made such a last­ing im­pres­sion on pho­tog­ra­phy in the sec­ond half of the 20th cen­tury as he did.
After train­ing as a pho­tog­ra­pher and work­ing to begin with in Switzer­land, Robert Frank em­i­grated to New York in 1947. His first ap­point­ment was with Harper's Bazaar. Until the mid-50s he trav­elled in South Amer­ica, Eu­rope and the USA, some­times com­mis­sioned by such mag­a­zines as Life and Vogue.
In what must surely be his most im­por­tant pub­li­ca­tion ‘Les Améri­cains' (1958), ‘The Amer­i­cans' (1959), Frank chose 83 pho­tographs from 28,000 im­ages which de­serve to be re­garded as the doc­u­men­ta­tion of an en­tire civil­i­sa­tion. In this se­ries of pic­tures, he de­vel­oped a com­pletely unique and new style of pho­tog­ra­phy which paved the way for many later artists. His films de­serve to be much bet­ter known. With his first work ‘Pull My Daisy' (1959), mod­elled on an idea of Jack Ker­ouac, he suc­cess­fully painted a fas­ci­nat­ing por­trait of the beat gen­er­a­tion in which the beat poet Allen Gins­berg him­self plays a role.
His works are still shown today by lead­ing mu­se­ums all over the world.