Robert Frank: London/Wales


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Philip Brookman
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“War is over; the heroic French population reaffirms superiority. Love, Paris, and Flowers…but London was black, white, and gray, the elegance, the style, all present in front of always changing fog. Then I met a man from Wales talking about the Miners and I had read How Green Was My Valley. This became my only try to make a ‘Story’.” Robert Frank

London/Wales brings together two distinct bodies of work to reveal a new understanding of Frank’s contribution to the history of photography. Juxtaposing the world of money and the world of work in post-war England, Frank photographed London bankers, workers, and children, and Welsh coal miners and their families. These images poetically evoke relationships between the classes during a time of change in Britain. Setting a significant documentary precedent for Frank’s best known work, The Americans, London/Wales demonstrates the artist’s early interest in social commentary, the narrative potential of photographic sequencing and his innovative use of the expressionistic qualities of the medium. Featuring 90 black and white photographs, London/Wales tells a timeless story of cities, people, and institutions in transition through emotional, evocative images while revealing Frank’s struggle to forge a new form of poetic narrative photography. This reprint of the 2003 Scalo edition will not include the text booklet.