Life Dances On

Robert Frank in Dialogue

Member Previews, Sep 12–14

Sep 15, 2024–Jan 11, 2025


Robert Frank. Mabou Winter Footage. 1977. Gelatin silver print, 23 11/16 × 14 3/4" (60.1 × 37.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase. © 2024 The June Leaf and Robert Frank Foundation
  • MoMA, Floor 3, 3 South The Edward Steichen Galleries

“I think of myself, standing in a world that is never standing still,” the artist Robert Frank once wrote. “I’m still in there fighting, alive because I believe in what I’m trying to do now.” Life Dances On: Robert Frank in Dialogue—the artist’s first solo exhibition at MoMA—provides a new perspective on his expansive body of work by exploring the six vibrant decades of Frank’s career following the 1958 publication of his landmark photobook, The Americans.

Coinciding with the centennial of Frank’s birth, the exhibition will explore his restless experimentation across mediums including photography, film, and books, as well as his dialogues with other artists and his communities. It will include some 200 works made over 60 years until the artist’s death in 2019, many drawn from MoMA’s extensive collection, as well as materials that have never before been exhibited.

The exhibition borrows its title from Frank’s poignant 1980 film, in which the artist reflects on the individuals who have shaped his outlook. Like much of his work, the film is set in New York City and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where he and his wife, the artist June Leaf, moved in 1970. In the film, Leaf looks at the camera and asks Frank, “Why do you make these pictures?” In an introduction to the film’s screening, he answered: “Because I am alive.”

Organized by Lucy Gallun, Curator, with Kaitlin Booher, Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow, and Casey Li, 12 Month Intern, Department of Photography

Leadership support for the exhibition is provided by the Noel and Harriette Levine Endowment.

Generous funding is provided by the Alice L. Walton Foundation.

Additional support is provided by the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York.

Major support for the publication is provided by Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder through The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art. Generous funding is provided by the John Szarkowski Publications Fund.


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