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Every photographer's library should have a copy...,
This review is from: Robert Frank: The Americans (Hardcover)
...but only now is it affordable again.
I've probably seen every photograph in this book a number of times over the years. That fact in no way lessens its impact.
Fortunately re-published while Frank is still around to give it his blessing, this new Steidl edition shows the pictures pretty much in their original context, even Jack Kerouac's intro is there in full. Although I've never handled an original 1950s edition, I would imagine that the printing quality then could not have matched this, if indeed it even managed to approach it. It's not the finest you can achieve - at this price how could it be - but it's certainly fine enough.
I've seen some of the photographs on gallery walls and they really don't have the same impact as they do on the printed page. It's the narrative, the sequencing, that draws you into Frank's vision of mid-twentieth century America. That said, there's barely an image here that does not stand on its own as a iconic reference to the style of photography that he initiated.
For me, this book is on a par with Bill Brandt's 'Shadow of Light', or Tony Ray-Jones' 'A Day Off', as a collection that I can return to again and again and still derive an enormous amount of visual and mental stimulation.