Hamiltons presented an exhibition of exceptional, rarely seen photographs by Robert Frank. It highlighted Frank’s seminal visit to a coal-mining village in Wales, along with a selection of prints from his sojourns in London, Paris and America. Frank’s endeavour to establish a new form of poetic, narrative photography is a common thread throughout these images.
One of the most influential figures in the history of photography, Frank found fame in the 1960s with his ground-breaking book “The Americans”. The series offers a profound insight into the country’s cultural and social conditions and is widely regarded as a pivotal work in 20th century art history.
Its origins can be traced to Frank’s time spent in Paris, and his visit to England and Wales in the 1950s. In London, Frank photographed labourers and bankers alike, capturing the city’s spirit following World War II, followed by his exploration of coal-stained Caerau in South Wales. There, Frank created a photographic story focused on one miner, Ben James. The emotional complexity with which he treated his subject set a precedent for Frank’s later work, when he would go on to treat all his subjects with a similar poetic sensibility.
Image: © Robert Frank