Robert Frank: Storylines
Tate Modern: Exhibition
28 October 200423 January 2005

Robert Frank is one of the world’s most influential photographers. For more than fifty years, he has broken the rules of photography and film making, challenging the boundaries between the still and the moving image. In 1996, he was presented with the Hasselblad Award, for his contribution to the development of post war-photography. This exhibition is the first major exploration of his work to take place in the UK.

From 1949 onwards, Frank started to take pictures which reflected his search for artistic freedom and he travelled to numerous locations in South America and Europe shooting stories which revolutionised the expressive potential of the medium. Several of these groundbreaking photographic series’ are displayed in the exhibition. The earliest, Peru (1949) features works taken whilst the young Frank travelled around this captivating country. The London series (1951-52) offers a rare and charming insight into a bygone era in the capital’s history, whilst Wales (1953) focuses on one miner and his family as they struggle with the harsh realities of life in a remote mining village.

In 1954, Frank began a road-trip across the States. The resulting book The Americans radically changed the language of photographic narrative. Several works taken during this time are also included in the exhibition. Highlights are the Chicago series (1956), which portrays this vibrant city in the midst of the Congressional Elections, and Detroit (1955) which offers a fascinating insight into the daily lives of those working on one of Ford’s infamous assembly lines.

Featuring over 150 photographs, as well as three of Frank’s films, this exhibition is a unique opportunity to explore the work of one of photography’s greatest pioneers.