New York

Robert Frank

Robert Mann Gallery

Robert Frank’s The Americans (1958) is arguably the twentieth century’s iconic art book. Its photos, taken by Frank during a circuitous cross-country road trip in 1955 and 1956, are voyeuristic records of Americans who had sloughed off depression, won wars, and forged the world’s model consumer society. The Swiss-born artist conveyed an America of bliss and ignorance, hip yet generic, its landscape and psychology both wide open. Last year was the fiftieth anniversary of Frank’s book of eighty-three photographs and—incredibly—the first time the entire suite was shown in New York, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the final stop of a tour that originated at the organizing institution, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC).

Contrarians and hard-core Frank fans often argue for the early-1970s documentary Cocksucker Blues as his masterpiece. The unreleased and rarely screened vérité-style

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