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Robert Frank: Flower is..., Limited Edition (Cover Plate Variant: "Champs-Élysées, 1950")

Publisher: Tokyo: Yugensha (Kazuhiko Motomura), 1987
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: Hardcover
Condition: New / No dust jacket as issued
Item #: 106606

$6,500.00

Specifics

First edition, first and only printing. Limited edition of 500 unnumbered copies. Hardcover. Fine light gray silk cloth with title and graphic design of a flower stamped in light [pale green tinted] gray on front cover and title stamped on spine, housed in a matching cloth slipcase with a black and white plate (5-1/2 x 8-3/8 inches, "Champs-Élysées, 1950" ("Fleurs") version, also reproduced in plate number 2 of the book) tipped in the front cover and title stamped in dark gray on side (matching the book's spine), no dust jacket as issued. Photographs and text (in English and Japanese) by Robert Frank. Includes a list of plates (in Japanese). Designed by Kohei Sugiura and Atsushi Co., Ltd. 112 pp. with 81 black and white plates, beautifully printed on fine art paper by Nissha Printing Co., Ltd. 13-3/4 x 10-1/8 inches (slipcase is 14-1/8 x 10-3/8 inches).

[Cited in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History, Volume I. (London and New York: Phaidon, 2004).] Out of print. Extremely scarce.

Condition

New in publisher's original cardboard shipping box. A pristine, flawless copy (opened only for inspection).

Description

An excerpt from "The Photobook: A History, Volume I" by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger: "Flower Is" is a memorial to his daughter, Andrea, who was killed in an airplane crash in Guatemala in 1974. The book is in three "stream-of-consciousness" suites, which correspond to three different periods in the photographer's life. The first suite consists of flower photographs taken in Paris between 1949 and 1951; the second, photographs of Detroit car factories and pictures of the American South in 1955; the third and final suite, photographs of Nova Scotia taken between 1976 and 1984.

Robert Frank continues to call Nova Scotia home but visits New York, where he is sometimes "sighted" on one of his lonely walks. "The whole tenor of the book is forlorn, which may be the best adjective that describes Frank's work as a whole. Never have flowers, that most uplifting of photographic subjects, appeared so woebegone. Seldom has the manic activity of industrial manufacture seemed so pointless. And the Nova Scotia landscapes and still lifes (beautiful, bleak, elegiac) reveal an artist at the height of his powers but hardly at peace with the world or himself."