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date: 15 December 2019

Frank, Robert locked

(b Zurich, Nov 9, 1924).
  • Constance W. Glenn

Extract

(b Zurich, Nov 9, 1924).

American photographer and film maker of Swiss birth. He emigrated to New York City in 1947, having worked in the studios of various Swiss photographers and film makers, including that of Michael Wolgensinger (1913–90). The small, handmade book, 40 Fotos (artist’s col.) prompted Alexey Brodovitch (1898–1971) of Harper’s Bazaar to hire the young, unknown photographer. The book included examples of a wide variety of his work and provided evidence of his early skill at juxtaposing images and creating photographic sequences.

Until 1951 Frank remained a regular contributor to Harper’s Bazaar, where he met the photographer Louis Faurer (b 1916), but he also did freelance work for magazines such as Look, Life and Fortune; for his own pleasure he recorded New York with a newcomer’s vision, creating images of uncanny insight and poetic spareness. These qualities would remain hallmarks of later work that critics found to be a harsh and unpalatable judgement of prosperous, post-war America. ...

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