• Photographs: The Evening Sale auction at Christies

    Sale 12203

    Photographs: The Evening Sale

    4 October 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 9

    Robert Frank (B. 1924)

    Parade – Hoboken, New Jersey, 1955

    Estimate

    Robert Frank (B. 1924)
    Parade – Hoboken, New Jersey, 1955
    gelatin silver print, mounted on original board, printed 1971
    signed, titled, dated [negative and print dates] and annotated 'in Rochester' in ink (margin); inscribed by the artist in pencil and credited on affixed Visual Studies Workshop label (mount, verso)
    image: 8 3/4 x 13 1/4 in. (22.3 x 33.8 cm.)
    sheet: 9 5/8 x 13 3/4 in. (24.5 x 35 cm.)
    mount: 18 x 22 in. (45.8 x 56 cm.)


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    Robert Frank was awarded a Guggenheim grant in 1955 and spent the subsequent two years criss-crossing the country making photographs. Parade – Hoboken, New Jersey is the opening photograph of the resulting publication, The Americans, first published in 1958 in France and the following year by Grove Press in New York. The U.S. edition contained the now-famous introduction by friend and Beat poet, Jack Kerouac.

    One of the most influential books in post-war American photography, The Americans is a masterful exposition and critique of Frank’s adopted country as seen in the 1950s. The American flag is a motif that Frank employs and deploys with critical potency. Taken during a parade in Hoboken, New Jersey during the summer of 1955, the image depicts two solitary figures standing in upper-story windows of a brick building, half-obscured by shadow and the flag draped between the windows. As the opening image, Parade – Hoboken serves as both introduction and thesis statement. Frank commented that, '[it is] a threatening picture,' setting the tone for the rest of the book, and cementing its role as one of the greatest of Frank’s images.

    Other prints of this image reside in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

    Provenance

    The artist;
    acquired from the above, 1971;
    by descent to the present owner.


    Literature

    Robert Frank, Les Américains, Delpire, Paris, 1958, pl. 1, p. 7.
    Robert Frank, The Americans, Grove Press, New York, 1959, pl. 1, n.p., and in all subsequent editions.
    Minor White (ed.), Robert Frank, Aperture, vol. 9, no. 1, 1961, p. 6.
    Willy Rotzler, 'Robert Frank,' Du, vol. 22, no. 1, Zurich, January 1962, p. 16.
    John Szarkowski, The Photographer's Eye, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1966, p. 155.
    Robert Frank, The Lines of My Hand, Yugensha, Tokyo, 1972, p. 57, and in each of the subsequent variant editions.
    Robert Frank, Robert Frank: The Aperture History of Photography Series, Aperture Foundation, New York, 1976, cover.
    John Szarkowski, Photography Until Now, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1989, p. 258.
    Sarah Greenough et al., Robert Frank: Moving Out, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1994, p. 175.
    Peter Galassi, American Photography, 1890-1965, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1995, p. 215.
    Peter Galassi, Walker Evans & Company, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2000, pl. 316.
    Ian Penman, Robert Frank: Storylines, Tate Modern, London, 2004, frontispiece 3.
    Sarah Greenough, Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 2009, cover, pp. 211, 460 and Contact #1.