Robert Frank - Photographs New York Thursday, April 4, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York

  • Literature

    The Americans, no. 58
    Greenough, Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans, pp. 281, 476, Contact no. 58
    Greenough, Robert Frank: Moving Out, p. 180
    Aperture, Robert Frank, frontispiece, variant
    Kismaric, American Politicians: Photographs from 1843 to 1993, p. 151, variant
    Szarkowski, Looking at Photographs, p. 177, variant
    Szarkowski, The Photographer's Eye, p. 152, variant

  • Catalogue Essay

    With its 83 photographs culled from nearly 27,000 negatives, Robert Frank’s The Americans presents a complex portrait of America in the mid-20th century. From its blunt depictions of racial division, to its metaphoric representations of the American Dream, to the idiosyncratic juxtapositions within many of the frames, this seminal book serves as a cultural archive driven by the curiosity of an artist.

    Political Rally, Chicago, 1956, is one of several images taken at political parades across the country in the year leading up to the 1956 presidential election. This photograph of a tuba player is contextualized by the small detail on the musician’s jacket which reveals the scene to be a rally in support of Adlai Stevenson’s second unsuccessful campaign for president.

    This impressive, large-format print is a slightly wider crop than is seen in some editions of The Americans, revealing more of the female figure on the right. Another print with the same cropping is in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

    For additional works by Robert Frank, please reference lot 140 and 141.

  • 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.

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Political Rally, Chicago

Gelatin silver print, printed later.
22 x 14 in. (55.9 x 35.6 cm)
Signed, titled 'Chicago' and dated in ink in the margin.

$70,000 - 90,000 

Sold for $137,500

Contact Specialist
Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairman, Americas

General Enquiries
+1 212 940 1245


New York Auction 4 April 2019