Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Quote of the day

"He didn't just take remarkable photographs; he changed our conception of what a photograph could be."

Geoff Dyer on Robert Frank, who's died at the age of 94.

Personally speaking, it makes sense to pay tribute to Frank through Dyer's words, given that it was Dyer's book The Ongoing Moment that really introduced me to Frank's work and importance. The above comment is taken not from the book, however, but from a 2004 Guardian article written to mark the opening of a retrospective at Tate Modern, in which Dyer succinctly encapsulates what makes Frank's images both so unremarkable and so remarkable at the same time, and how in The Americans in particular the emigre photographer built on the pioneering approach of Walker Evans and paved the way for other luminaries of the art form like Diane Arbus and Garry Winogrand.

The question of what makes something worthy of photographing, what should be recorded for posterity, has been a source of personal fascination in recent years - as mentioned, for instance, in my blog review of Martin Parr's Return To Manchester exhibition earlier this year - so the terms in which Dyer frames Frank's particular contribution really resonates.

Enough writing about pictures, though; see for yourself by checking out this excellent New York Times article, which contains some of the best images in The Americans.

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