Robert Frank - Photographs New York Tuesday, October 1, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street (Musidor, 1972), cover
    Scalo, Robert Frank: HOLD STILL_keep going, p. 84, variant there titled Record Cover: Rolling Stones Exile on Main St., 1972

  • Catalogue Essay

    This photograph was used as the front cover illustration for The Rolling Stones’ 1972 double album Exile on Main Street. Frank designed the album’s sleeve art, and collaged his images on the front and rear covers, the interior gatefold, and the pictorial record sleeves. He included images from The Americans and others he had made during that time, as well as stills from his documentary on the Stones which was completed in the same year as the album.

    The image was almost certainly taken at Hubert’s Museum, the legendary 42nd Street sideshow. Several of Hubert’s acts are visible in the advertisements within this photograph, including Joe Allen, the Human Corkscrew; The Girl That Cheats the Electric Chair; and Heckler’s Flea Circus. Hubert’s was also visited by Diane Arbus, who made an extensive series of photographs there in the late 1950s and developed friendships with the management and several of the acts. One of Arbus’ images appears in Frank’s photograph: her image of Hezekiah Trambles, ‘The Jungle Creep,’ in the center of the third row of pictures.

  • 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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NYC (Exile on Main Street)

Gelatin silver print, printed later.
13 1/4 x 10 1/4 in. (33.7 x 26 cm)
Signed, titled and dated in ink on the recto; a circular label annotated 'P/K A-143' in ink on the verso.

$20,000 - 30,000 

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Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairwoman, Americas

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New York Auction 1 October 2019