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American photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank is dead


Born in Switzerland 94 years ago, he was the author of the world's most famous and influential photographic book, "The Americans", which became one of the visual monuments of the 20th century.

Robert Frank became famous with his album "The Americans" (1958), a book of black and white shots taken from his travels across the United States, a true manifesto against the tradition that was to profoundly influence subsequent generations. Delpire Publishing, 2019

He was the author of the most famous and influential photographic book in the world: with his bittersweet and lyrical images taken on the roads of the United States in the 1950s, The Americans , published in 1958, became the one of the visual monuments of the twentieth century. But he was also an artist reluctant to the consecration, who quickly preferred to turn his back on the past and photography to engage in free-form films, often fed with his personal tragedies. Photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank died Monday (September 9th) in Inverness, Canada, at the age of 94, according to relatives contacted by Le Monde, confirming information from the New York Times . He had marked not only the artists of his time, musicians, photographers, but also the unconscious of a generation.

Photo of Robert Frank extracted from his book "The Americans", published in 1958. Editions Robert Delpire, 2018

In the arrogant America of the glorious thirties, the photographer had reported, after three years of wandering on the roads of the country, discordant images and quite unwelcome: a starship banner crumpled, jukeboxes, mournful funerals, car -stoppers tired, outdoor cinemas, a bus where black and white do not mix ... His images uneven, blurred, subjective marked a milestone in the history of photography, showing that it could serve as much to tell the world only to express an interior landscape.

With this book, The Americans , Robert Frank gave birth to a myth, to a cult in which he never recognized himself. Allergic to the official tributes and admirers whom he often welcomed with hostility, he made a point of honor to cultivate his freedom of artist, free electron close to the counter-culture and friend of the writers of the Beat Generation - without ever to be part of the movement.

Photo of Robert Frank extracted from his book "The Americans", published in 1958. Editions Robert Delpire, 2018

Read also Quarrel between publishers around the reissue of "Americans" by Robert Frank See also "The World 2": Robert Frank, a great master of photography

Source: lemonde

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