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Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans: Expanded Edition Hardcover – January 1, 2009
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To be able to see Robert Frank's application to the Guggenheim, letters to Walker Evans and Jack Kerouac, a map and itinerary for the photo journey across America and his original working sequence of prints for the book puts the eighty-three photos in perspective. Sarah Greenhough's four essays (she is one of the seven contributors) puts him in the context of the Cold War and consumer culture times and I thought her essay about the opposition to The Americans particularly interesting (the Family of Man exhibition had a lot to answer for, though Frank had seven photos in it).
She also writes about various editions and the different printing techniques that were used. This turns out to be rather important because the viewer's perception of the photos can vary according to what copy they see. The original French and Grove Press editions were printed gravure and many of the photos were tightly cropped so that they were perceived as hard-edge images of America. Later editions, from Aperture (two) Pantheon, Scalo and Steidl sometimes used larger photos with less severe cropping. All of this is revealed in the back of the book with thumbnails of the original photos with repeats to show how the various editions presented their versions. The reality is that black and white prints cannot adequately be printed in one black pass through a press, to do it properly they have to be duotones or tritones.Read more ›
Get it. It is an education in one volume.
There are several brilliant critical books on any number of artists now. But this one, even at full price, has arguably the best price-performance ratio of any. This book is a steal, hands down.
Including all of the plates and all of the contact sheets for each plate in "Americans" is a curious photographer's dream, never realized, to this reviewer's knowledge, until this book.
The publisher, Steidl, deserves, too, high praise for taking on this tome and for the quality of so many of its recent publications on Frank, Leiter, and so many others. Steidl is currently among the top very few highest quality publishers of significant photography.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Remarkable treat p, well written and accessible. I didn't have the privilege of seeing this great exhibition, but thanks to this book, I felt like I was there. Read morePublished 3 months ago by fceexp1
A must book for any serious documentary or street photographer . A view of Ameica through Robert Frank's incitful lensPublished 8 months ago by Barbara
I just bought this book on October 6, 2015 through Amazon. It had been "out of print" or just plain unavailable for a long time. Read more
Really great photography, reflecting common American lives that most of us see but don't notice.Published 11 months ago by Bob
This book is superb! In addition to an excellent review of The Americans in goes into depth on Frank's early years in Switzerland, his training and early work and influences. Read morePublished 21 months ago by John Ciccone