Robert Frank - Photographs New York Tuesday, April 3, 2012 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Robert Klein Gallery, Boston

  • Literature

    Aperture, The Americans, 1969, pl.12
    Delpire, Les Américains, 1968, pl. 12
    Grove Press, The Americans, 1968, pl. 12
    National Gallery of Art, Washington/ Steidl, Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans, 2009, p. 223, pl. 12
    The Americans, 2009 p. 223, pl. 12
    Pantheon, The Americans, 1986, pl. 12
    Scalo/DAP, The Americans, 1995, pl. 12
    Steidl, The Americans, 1998, pl. 12
    Tate Publishing, Cruel and Tender: The Real in the Twentieth-Century Photograph, p. 107; for all, a variant

  • Catalogue Essay

    Robert Frank’s N.Y.C. Lower East-Side Puerto-Ricans, circa 1954, depicts three young men, possibly in their teens, flirtatiously posing for Frank’s lens. In contrast with many of the images in The Americans, from which the current lot is a variant example, the subjects are directly interacting with Frank and not surreptitiously captured by his lens. In fact, the seven negative strips dedicated to the three young men reveal that Frank most likely spent some time with his subjects. In some frames the young men appear to be assembling in an empty lot, in others they jovially amble about the streets, and in most they assume different theatrical poses and gestures. They are continuously laughing and smiling, happy to be the subject of the camera.

    Depictions of racial minorities in mainstream media was scarce at the time and depictions of those of flamboyant nature even more so. The image marks a strong departure from the somber mood that resonated throughout The Americans. Frank was able to remind 1950s America that despite its adherence to misplaced stereotypes, much joy and livelihood was to be found among some of its most overlooked characters.

  • Artist Biography

    Robert Frank

    Swiss • 1924

    As one of the leading visionaries of mid-century American photography, Robert Frank has created an indelible body of work, rich in insight and poignant in foresight. In his famed series The Americans, Frank travelled the United States, capturing the parade of characters, hierarchies and imbalances that conveyed his view of the great American social landscape.

    Frank broke the mold of what was considered successful documentary photography with his "snapshot aesthetic." It is Frank's portrayal of the United States through grit and grain that once brought his work to the apex of criticism, but has now come to define the art of documentary photography.

    View More Works


N.Y.C. Lower East-Side Puerto-Ricans

circa 1954
Gelatin silver print.
12 7/8 x 8 1/2 in. (32.7 x 21.6 cm)
Titled in ink by the artist, annotated 'The Americans 12 New York City' and '2696' in an unidentified hand in pencil, copyright credit and 'Robert Frank Archive' stamps on the verso.

$30,000 - 50,000 

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Kramer Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs
[email protected]
+ 1 212 940 1245


4 April 2012
New York