On view July 16 - August 15, 2014 | Opening reception Friday, July 18 (6 p.m. - 8 p.m.)

With one hand he sucked a sad poem right out of America onto film…
—Jack Kerouac, 1959. Introduction to The Americans

From 1955 to 1956 Swiss photographer Robert Frank drove across the United States on a Guggenheim Fellowship, snapping the shadows of a shifting nation. The resulting publication, The Americans, forever encapsulated in black and white the stoicism of a people and a landscape caught beneath the crest of unforeseen socio-political change. Frank’s subtle compositions reverberate with an elegiac iconography that continues to impinge upon viewers the melancholic heart of American existence.

The three American photographers on view within the group exhibition Light Years at Nationale offer evocative ties to this monumental series. While highlighting the beloved binaries of a vast nation, the images of Jake ArculariusMarshall Scheider, and John Voves ultimately transcend specific times and places as homages to the collective, unwritten histories of everyday American life. As reflected within their camera lenses, like within Frank’s mid-century meditations, the roads still beckon, dusty motels and suburban homes still shelter the weary, and, despite our technological prowess, family, religion, and tradition still carry us forward.