The Art Institute of Chicago just opened an exhibit in the Modern Wing's photography gallery featuring the work of Robert Frank, who many consider to be the father of street photography, although I think The Americans is a far more cohesive a body of work that goes well beyond the often ad hoc nature of what is typically characterized as street photography. Throughout the exhibit, there are a number of references to Frank's desire for a quick, dirty, and ephemeral display of his work. Given that desire, it is not surprising that many of the photographs were printed on newsprint. At one end of the exhibit there is a series of pocket-size projectors simultaneously displaying seven or eight of Frank's films, including one featuring the Rolling Stones during the Exile on Main Street period, their seminal double-album that included Frank photographs on the the album cover and in a pack of postcards included within. I do not believe this is the infamous and rarely seen C**kSucker Blues--if it is, it is highly edited. Here is some footage that I found on Youtube, part of which appeared in the exhibit, but without the soundtrack.
There is a lot going on in this exhibit. Despite being small, I spent about an hour enjoying it, and I will return for a second and probably third look. It includes the aforementioned films, books, and lots of photographs, with plenty of commentary. The works include images from photo books titled Paris, Peru, and In America, among others.
Be forewarned: In keeping with its ephemeral nature, the exhibit includes 29 photographs from Frank's 2014 book, Partida. I loved the photograph of the two donuts. These photographs will be on display for just two weeks. On May 26, those photographs will be replaced with photographs that Frank gave to the museum in 2000.
Pictured here is a letter that I found very amusing, particularly because Frank's two-year journey across the United States that began in the summer of 1955 was financed in part by a Guggenheim fellowship that was renewed in 1956. It is certainly in keeping with Jagger's observation, "Americans are funny people: first you shock them, then they put you in a museum."
The exhibit is highly recommended. If you can, go during the week when the museum is less congested.