ROBERT FRANK - American Contacts
June 24 – August 10.
First published in France in 1958, then in the United States in 1959, Robert Frank's “The Americans” exploded onto twentieth-century photography redefining what a photograph and a photography book could mean. In 83 photographs (from 81 rolls of film) Frank looked beneath the surface of American life to see a nation torn between poverty and privilege and yet he also found beauty in the simple, overlooked corners of American life.
Danziger Gallery is pleased to present selected lithographs from the legendary but rarely seen limited edition portfolio “ROBERT FRANK - THE AMERICANS, 81 contact sheets”. Published in Japan in 2009 the boxed set reproduced every contact sheet from “The Americans” at double the size of a normal 35mm frame and at the highest lithographic reproduction quality.
The project originated from the passion of a Japanese tax officer named Kazuhiko Motomura. After seeing Frank’s work for the first time in 1972, Motomura flew to New York with the hope of meeting Frank. His goal was to be the first to publish a book of Frank’s photographs in Japan. Although Frank spoke no Japanese and Motomura no English, they felt a kindred spirit and from that relationship came the first of Motomura’s publications – Robert Frank’s “Lines Of My Hand”.
Motomura’s last publication - and his dream project - was the reproduction of Frank’s contact sheets of “The Americans” with every sheet laid out in sequence and showing Frank’s various editing marks. In keeping with his impeccable standards, the set came housed in a specially designed wooden box with Frank’s signature burned into the top.
Although generally only sold as a complete boxed set, in response to the demand for individual plates, we have broken up one set – whose plates are now on view in our Los Angeles project space.