Art News Daily

Robert Frank (1924–2019)

Plus: ICOM postpones vote on new definition for museums | and Banksy’s former agent Steve Lazarides quits gallery

10 September 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Robert Frank (1924–2019) | Robert Frank, the photographer and film-maker who played an instrumental role in the evolution of documentary photography, died on Monday at the age of 94. Born in Zurich and studying in the city before later settling in New York, Frank rose to prominence with The Americans (first published in 1958), a book compiling 83 photographs shot on a Leica 35mm camera, which documented the people he encountered on road trips across the country. In his preface to the book’s US edition, Jack Kerouac wrote that with his photographs Frank had ‘sucked a sad poem right out of America on to film’. Frank went on to direct a number of avant-garde films, including the 1959 short Pull My Daisy, starring Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, and Cocksucker Blues, an unreleased 1972 documentary capturing the Rolling Stones on tour.

ICOM postpones vote on new definition for museums | A decision to postpone a vote on a new definition for museums was reached by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) over the weekend. At a general assembly in Kyoto on 7 September, 70.4 per cent of participants voted in favour of the decision, which rejects a proposal put forward earlier this year to update ICOM’s official definition of a museum. The French delegation led opposition to the redefinition, which refers to museums as ‘democratising, inclusive and polyphonic spaces for critical dialogue about the past and the future’, describing it as an ‘ideological’ rather than factual statement. The president of ICOM, Suay Aksoy, has said that a new definition will be developed in due course.

Banksy’s former agent Steve Lazarides quits gallery | The Art Newspaper reports that Steve Lazarides, Banksy’s former driver, photographer and agent has announced his retreat from the gallery world, citing snobbery and a lack of subculture as reasons for his exit. Lazarides started his career as a street art dealer before opening several galleries, most recently Lazinc in Mayfair, but now Lazarides claims that ‘it’s got to the stage where [the gallery world] is about nothing other than monetary value and I just can’t work on those terms any more’. Lazarides will now focus on solo projects, starting with a new book, Banksy Captured, and a website to sell some of the 12,000 photographs he took of the street artist during their 11 years of working together.