John Szarkowski On Robert Frank’s Book ‘The Americans'” (1986)

I saw it I suppose very shortly after it was published, when I was still working as a photographer myself, and it was, frankly, shocking. I sensed the power in it, and the authority about it but there was much about it that I didn’t like…

The Americans was received with mixed critical reaction. Not primarily because of its subject matter, although many people thought so at the time. There had been many people  who clearly disliked it or hated it. Looking back on it now, if you analyze the subject matter of The Americans, it in fact is subject matter that has been recorded, described with considerable depth by a good many other photographers. It was something in the very bones of the photographs themselves – something about the look of the pictures that suggested that, whereas what was being described had to be described because it was there, it didn’t have to be described according to the rules and formulations that were thought of as being good photography…

We all knew those things existed… but the way in which they were depicted made them seem more difficult to accept, more pessimistic. There was something approaching a sharp edge of bitterness in the look of the pictures. And of course what was eventually learned from that it was not necessarily the sensibility that gave the pictures their bitter taste, but rather the knowledge that the medium itself was much more plastic, and was open to a wider range of invention that we ever realized.

– John Szarkowski, in Brookman and Brookman 1986: video

 

 

ASX CHANNEL: ROBERT FRANK

(All rights reserved. Text @ John Szarkowski Estate)

Posted in Essays, Photography and tagged , , , , , .

51 Comments

  1. I spent four years trying EVERYTHING in Online Dating, and through a huge amount of trial and error, I produced a system that I will share for you. This book will take you, step by step, through everything you need to know to double, triple or even quadruple the number of women you meet online.

  2. I just want to mention I’m beginner to blogs and honestly enjoyed your web page. More than likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog . You definitely have incredible well written articles. Thanks for sharing with us your website.

  3. I travel all around the world for work, and it used to be really lonely. Now I can go onto Tinder and have a date lined up in a new city before I even get out of the airport!

  4. I’ve learned some important things through your post. I’d also like to say that there is a situation that you will have a loan and never need a cosigner such as a Government Student Support Loan. In case you are getting a borrowing arrangement through a traditional finance company then you need to be able to have a co-signer ready to allow you to. The lenders will probably base their decision over a few aspects but the largest will be your credit worthiness. There are some loan companies that will additionally look at your work history and determine based on that but in most cases it will be based on on your score.

  5. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my site so i came to return the desire?.I am attempting to to find things to enhance my site!I guess its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  6. Hello there, I found your site by the use of Google whilst looking for a comparable topic, your website got here up, it seems to be good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  7. Hi there! I simply want to give you a big thumbs up for your excellent info you have got here on this post. I’ll be returning to your web site for more soon.

  8. Can I simply say what a relief to seek out somebody who actually knows what theyre speaking about on the internet. You definitely know tips on how to deliver a problem to gentle and make it important. Extra people must learn this and understand this facet of the story. I cant consider youre no more in style since you undoubtedly have the gift.

  9. Hi there, I found your site by the use of Google even as looking for a similar matter, your web site got here up, it appears to be like great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  10. Hello, i feel that i noticed you visited my weblog so i came to return the favor?.I’m attempting to in finding issues to enhance my web site!I guess its adequate to use a few of your ideas!!

  11. Hi there, I found your blog via Google while looking for a comparable subject, your site came up, it seems to be good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  12. Hi! I just wish to offer you a huge thumbs up for the excellent information you have got right here on this post. I am coming back to your blog for more soon.

  13. Hi! I simply want to offer you a huge thumbs up for your great information you have here on this post. I am returning to your site for more soon.

  14. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole
    my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a forty
    foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
    I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  15. I feel that is one of the such a lot vital information for me.
    And i’m glad reading your article. However wanna observation on few basic issues, The website style is great, the articles is in point of fact nice :
    D. Good job, cheers

  16. Hello there I am so glad I found your weblog, I really found you by mistake, while I was searching on Digg for
    something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a incredible post
    and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time
    to browse it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and
    also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back
    to read much more, Please do keep up the excellent work.

  17. It’s in point of fact a great and useful piece of information. I am happy that
    you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us informed like this.
    Thanks for sharing.

  18. Good day! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering
    if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  19. Good day! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give
    a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading through your posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go
    over the same topics? Appreciate it!

  20. Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam responses? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can advise? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any help is very much appreciated.

  21. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  22. Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after browsing through some of the post I
    realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!

  23. Hey would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re utilizing?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most.
    Can you recommend a good hosting provider at a reasonable price?
    Many thanks, I appreciate it!

  24. Hey! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same
    niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a extraordinary job!

  25. I truly love your website.. Excellent colors & theme.
    Did you make this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create
    my own personal website and would love to find out where you got this from or exactly
    what the theme is named. Cheers!

  26. You actually make it seem so easy together with your presentation however I
    find this matter to be actually one thing that I think I would by
    no means understand. It kind of feels too complex
    and very huge for me. I am looking ahead in your subsequent put up, I will attempt to get the
    grasp of it!

  27. Pretty element of content. I simply stumbled
    upon your blog and in accession capital to say that I acquire actually enjoyed account your
    weblog posts. Any way I will be subscribing on your augment and even I achievement you access constantly quickly.

  28. Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views.
    I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with
    someone!

  29. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have
    put in writing this blog. I really hope to check out the same high-grade content
    by you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has
    encouraged me to get my own website now 😉

  30. Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe
    guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa?
    My blog discusses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I
    believe we could greatly benefit from each other. If you’re interested feel free to shoot me an email.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!

  31. Can I simply just say what a relief to find somebody who really
    understands what they’re talking about over the internet.
    You definitely understand how to bring a problem to
    light and make it important. More and more people have to read this and understand this
    side of the story. I was surprised that you aren’t more popular given that you surely have the gift.

  32. I just wanted to write a quick note to say thanks to you for all the great ways you are posting on this website. My time intensive internet search has at the end been rewarded with incredibly good know-how to talk about with my company. I would mention that many of us readers actually are very endowed to live in a notable network with so many awesome individuals with interesting solutions. I feel quite fortunate to have used your website page and look forward to some more fun times reading here. Thanks a lot again for all the details.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.