Painkiller is an original exhibition of 48 Polaroid images by groundbreaking photographer Robert Frank taken from the 1970s through the present.
Robert Frank (b. 1924, Zurich) studied French for a year in 1940 at the Institut Jomini in Payerne, before beginning a series of apprenticeships and employment positions as a photographer’s assistant in Switzerland (1941-44). Soon after his emigration to New York in 1947, Alexey Brodovitch hired Frank as a fashion photographer for Harper’s Bazaar. After receiving his first Guggenheim Fellowship in 1955, Frank embarked on a two-year trip across America during which he took over 28,000 pictures. Eighty-three of those images were ultimately published in Frank’s groundbreaking monograph, The Americans. In 1959 Frank began making films. They are characterized by an improvisational quality that belies their careful planning. His 1972 documentary of the Rolling Stones on tour is perhaps Frank’s best-known film. When he returned to still photography, his work began to include autobiographical elements and a snapshot aesthetic. He also created narratives using text and multiple frames of images whose negatives he deliberately scratched and altered. In a career spanning over fifty years, Frank has inflected his perspective on our world-at-large to produce a body of work that defies easy classification beyond its singularly experimental nature. He currently lives and works in New York City and Nova Scotia.
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