This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

3Dec/09

ROBERT FRANK

Robert Frank, “Contact Sheet from The Americans,” gelatin silver print, 1955-56 (© Robert Frank)

Robert Frank, “Contact Sheet from The Americans,” gelatin silver print, 1955-56 (© Robert Frank)

Pace/MacGill Gallery
32 East 57th St.
Through December 5
Admission: free
212-759-7999
www.pacemcgill.com
www.metmuseum.org

In 1955-56, Robert Frank traveled across the country, documenting the state of the nation. He compiled eighty-three of his photographs in the controversial book THE AMERICANS, which was published to acclaim and outrage in 1959. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the seminal work with a gorgeous exhibition that features a black-and-white gelatin print of each of the photographs, shown in order along the walls of several galleries, capturing the spirit and triumph of the photo series (and supplemented with original contact sheets and a sample of Frank’s working process). Never seen before in this way in New York City, the photo suite is a stunning depiction of a country experiencing dramatic change. The must-see show continues through January 3, but there are only two days left to visit a companion exhibit at Midtown’s Pace/McGill Gallery. Pace/McGill is displaying a series of enlarged contact sheets from THE AMERICANS that are telling in their own right, especially when seen alongside such individual photos as “Parade – Hoboken, New Jersey” and “Trolley – New Orleans,” both of which have frames within frames, echoing the contact-sheet grids. Pace/McGill also has a wonderful series of photos Frank took in 1957-58 from the window of a moving New York City bus in addition to color and black-and-white photos from the 1980s.

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