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Robert Frank - The Americans av Robert Frank
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Robert Frank - The Americans (urspr publ 1958; utgåvan 2008)

av Robert Frank (Photographies)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
7511122,032 (4.55)17
First published in France in 1958, then the United States in 1959, Robert Frank's The Americans changed the course of twentieth-century photography. In eighty-three photographs, Frank looked beneath the surface of American life to reveal a people plagued by racism, ill-served by their politicians, and rendered numb by a rapidly expanding culture of consumption. Yet he also found novel areas of beauty in simple, overlooked corners of American life. And it was not just his subject matter - cars, jukeboxes, and even the road itself - that redefined the icons of America; it was also his seemingly intuitive, immediate, off-kilter style, as well as his method of brilliantly linking his photographs together thematically, conceptually, formally, and linguistically, that made The Americans so innovative. More of an ode or a poem than a literal document, the book is as powerful and provocative today as it was fifty-five years ago.… (mer)
Medlem:JMichaelThompson
Titel:Robert Frank - The Americans
Författare:Robert Frank (Photographies)
Info:Steidl Verlag (2008), Edition: Special edition, 180 pages
Samlingar:Biography, Literature, Ditt bibliotek
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The Americans av Robert Frank (1958)

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A classic in terms of establishing simple photographs of ordinary life in the mid 1950s across America. The focus of the book is on the photos with one photo on each 2 page spread. Let the photos speak for themselves. A good reminder that powerful photography does not have to have HDR, perfect light, skies, and no blemishes. The intro by Jack Kerouac is disappointing. It doesn't say much and just wanders through little statements about random photos. ( )
  deldevries | Aug 15, 2020 |
well-deserved classic ( )
  ThomasPluck | Apr 27, 2020 |
"The Americans" is a much-acclaimed book of photographs lauded by practically all. I had wanted to see it for a long time, but I found it to be a disappointment.

"The Americans" ostensibly portrays a view of America in the late 1940's and early 1950s and it is easy to understand its appeal to those who believe the "greatness" of the United States is overrated. It focuses on working class individuals, many elderly. Those wealthy individuals it portrays are depicted in social situations with ostentatious displays of wealth (e.g., an elderly woman wearing a fur coat in Miami). Nowhere is there a sign of the hope or optimism that characterized large swaths of the American population during those times.

I recognize the difficulty of capturing the essence of America in a scant 83 photos but I was struck by how little of the rich diversity that characterizes America the book captures. For example, "The Americans" largely ignores or distorts the rites of passage that are so important in all societies. Babies, a source of joy to most Americans, are represented in a picture of a baby lying alone on the floor by a jukebox. Teens are depicted in static poses that deny their youthful exuberance. Weddings are absent, yet symbolic decapitations (by flags, stairs, and a tuba) appear repeatedly.

"The Americans" is not without some strong images. Frank's photo of passengers on a bus in New Orleans is widely acclaimed for its portrayal of social stratification in America; partially obscured white male followed by white female, white children, black male and black female. Another powerful photo shows a black nanny and white baby looking in different directions. The same symbolism is present is his photograph of a graduation ceremony. The young graduates face one direction and the weary older gentleman faces the opposite direction. These images present a striking metaphor of the different paths open to each. The vastness of the U. S. is captured in a photo of U. S. 285 in New Mexico and to a lesser extend in other photos. However, those images depict barren land marred by human artifacts that is devoid of any sense of majesty or beauty.

"The Americans" seen through Frank's camera lacks vitality and energy. In the absence of images that depict positive attributes such as energy, hope, compassion, or joy, Frank shows us empty rooms and spaces without people. Some of the images are of poor quality or of such a narrow range of focus that the message is muted.

Frank's purpose may have been merely to document what he saw, but I wonder if he saw only what appeared in the book. He has been credited with documenting the social stratification of America, but decades earlier the more compelling images of Dorothea Lange, Alfred Stieglitz, and Walker Evans, to mention only a select few, produced superior works that had a greater impact. For example, Frank depicts a Detroit assembly line as dark and unattractive, perhaps a fair social statement, but a decade earlier Lewis W. Hinds provided much more compelling photos of work and a more effective argument for social reform.

Finally, "The Americans" lacks page numbers and a list of photos. As a consequence, returning to examine particular images requires a time-consuming, page-turning search. ( )
1 rösta Tatoosh | Jul 17, 2017 |
I really love many of these photos and their gentle yet powerful commentary on America in the 1950s (published 1958).

It was nostalgic to read Jack Kerouac's stream-of-consciousness introduction: his unique convoluted descriptions as he experienced these photos. I especially like his line about Robert Frank, " ..he sucked a sad poem right out of America onto film." ( )
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
Un album di fotografie con una introduzione di Jack Kerouac, per dire che gli scatti sono presi on the road, ma on the road davvero. Gli scatti di Robert Frank, tutti realizzati nel 1955 e nel 1956, quando il sogno americano era ancora lontano, ma pieno di luci, sono ridotto al massimo dell’essenzialità, non è un fatto di bianco e di nero, ma di soggetti, primi piani sfocati, non c’è il perfezionismo di molti grandi fotografi, molte riprese sembrano, per assurdo, casuali, anche se si tratta di uno dei must della fotografia. Un viaggio lungo gli States, fatto di gente, di strade, cartelli, animali, luci e ombre. Piacevole. ( )
  grandeghi | Feb 14, 2014 |
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[Frank] wanted to portray "the kind of civilization born here and spreading elsewhere." And he succeeded not only in recording how the country looked but in capturing its essence, so that The Americans still seems like an accurate portrait of how it feels to live here.
tillagd av Shortride | ändraHarper's Magazine, Francine Prose (betalvägg) (Jan 1, 2010)
 

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Wikipedia på engelska (1)

First published in France in 1958, then the United States in 1959, Robert Frank's The Americans changed the course of twentieth-century photography. In eighty-three photographs, Frank looked beneath the surface of American life to reveal a people plagued by racism, ill-served by their politicians, and rendered numb by a rapidly expanding culture of consumption. Yet he also found novel areas of beauty in simple, overlooked corners of American life. And it was not just his subject matter - cars, jukeboxes, and even the road itself - that redefined the icons of America; it was also his seemingly intuitive, immediate, off-kilter style, as well as his method of brilliantly linking his photographs together thematically, conceptually, formally, and linguistically, that made The Americans so innovative. More of an ode or a poem than a literal document, the book is as powerful and provocative today as it was fifty-five years ago.

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