The views of the American West collected in Robert Adams: From the Missouri West evoke a wide range of memories, myths and regrets associated with America’s frontier. In the 19th century, that frontier began at the Missouri River, beyond which lay a landscape of natural grandeur and purity. When Robert Adams (born 1937) shot that landscape, between 1975 and 1983, the hand of man had not so much disfigured as domesticated that paradise. Humans had left their marks almost casually, with the assurance of absolute triumph. Adams recorded these intrusions with neither judgment nor irony; the land he shows has simply been changed, reduced, made ordinary. Yet a second look makes it apparent that the hand of man has, after all, its limitations. First published in 1980, From the Missouri West marked a watershed in the history of landscape photography by reclaiming the West’s sublimity as again worthy of rigorous consideration. The link between Adams and photographers who surveyed the Western landscape more than a century earlier--in particular Timothy O’Sullivan--is drawn out in this re-edited and substantially enlarged edition of the classic book. “Because I had lost my way in the suburbs, I decided to try to rediscover some of the landforms that had impressed our forebears,” remembers Robert Adams. “Was there remaining in the geography a strength that might help sustain us as it had them?”
Robert Adams: Perfect Places, Perfect Company is a two-volume reworking of a series of photographs that Robert Adams (born 1937) made in the mid-1980s at Colorado’s Pawnee National Grassland. First published in 1988 under the title Perfect Times, Perfect Places, these photographs powerfully convey the deep sensory pleasure of walking in vast, open spaces. With Kerstin, his wife, and Sally, their dog, Robert Adams would drive out to the reserve to experience silence, stillness and affection; his walking companions occasionally appear in the frame, set against the Grassland’s scrubby ground and infinite horizons. Although he is perhaps best known for picturing a damaged or modified American geography in publications such as The New West (1974) and From the Missouri West (1980), here Adams has recorded scenes that are flawless, efficiently implying the necessity of maintaining and fighting for these spaces. A New York Times article about the photographer published in 1989 immediately comprehended the stakes of Adams’ project: “Robert Adams’ pictures are not designed to be overtly political, but like any deeply felt images they are capable of reorganizing the way we perceive the world.” With Perfect Places, Perfect Company, Adams shows us what we stand to lose.
Photographs Taken Near the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant 1979–1983
Published by Steidl. Edited by Joshua Chuang.
One day in the early 1970s, Robert Adams (born 1937) and his wife saw from their home a column of smoke rise above the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant, near Denver, Colorado. For an hour they watched the plume grow and experienced a sense of helplessness before what appeared to be a nuclear accident in progress. Ultimately it was announced that the fire was burning outside the plant, but Adams decided to try to picture what stood to be lost in a nuclear catastrophe. He photographed in Denver and its suburbs; the individuals shown were within hazardous proximity to the Rocky Flats Plant. The new Steidl edition of Our Lives and Our Children presents an expanded sequence that retains the potent compactness of the first edition (out of print for nearly three decades).
Published by Steidl. Edited by Joshua Chuang. Interview by Constance Sullivan.
Trees have been a subject of lifelong engagement for acclaimed American photographer Robert Adams (born 1937), and no species has enthralled him more than the cottonwood. Revered by the Plains Indians, native cottonwoods animate the landscape unforgettably but their thirst for water and lack of commercial value have made them common targets for removal by agricultural business and housing developers. Some of Adams’ earliest pictures were of cottonwoods, and he photographed them throughout the 35 years that he lived in Colorado, beginning in 1975. Each of the black-and-white photos in the series was taken within a 50-mile radius of his home in Colorado. Originally published by the Smithsonian in 1994, this new edition of Cottonwoods has been expanded and enlarged to include an interview with Adams by Constance Sullivan.
Robert Adams (born 1937) describes his home modestly and affectionately: "A friend once referred mischievously to the house as our ‘cottage.’ Built in 1941, it is now closely surrounded by other houses, though the front yard is shielded to one side and toward the street by green. And from the back porch there is a view of the Columbia River." Over his 45-year career Adams has been primarily known as an artist of the landscape, tracing humans’ relationship to nature in the American West. Around the House features photographs of Adams’ more immediate environs: the quiet corners of his home, his darkroom and his garden, as well as the subtle drama in the sky just above his house in Astoria, Oregon. This book is his most personal to date, capturing the small details and spaces that define his daily routine.
Published by Steidl. Edited by Joshua Chang. Foreword by John Szarkowski. Introduction by Robert Adams.
The open American West is nearly gone. A longstanding classic of photobook publishing, The New West is a photographic essay about what came to fill it—freeways, tract homes, low-rise business buildings and signs. In five sequences of pictures taken along the front wall of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Robert Adams has documented a representative sampling of the whole suburban Southwest. The views have a double power. At first they shock; normally we try to forget the commercial squalor they depict. Slowly, however, they reveal aspects of the geography—the shape of the land itself, for example—that are beyond man's harm. Adams has written that "all land, no matter what has happened to it, has over it a grace, an absolutely persistent beauty," and the photographs show this. Originally published in 1974, The New West is now regarded as a classic, standing alongside Walker Evans' American Photographs and Robert Frank's The Americans in the pantheon of landmark volumes of photography exploring American culture and society. This beautiful new edition marks the iconic book's fortieth anniversary and includes new scans. Robert Adams (born 1937) has photographed the geography of the American West for over 40 years. His work has been widely exhibited both in Europe and the United States, including in the seminal 1975 exhibition New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape. He has over 40 publications and is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Spectrum International Prize for Photography, the Hasselblad Award, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.
Published by Walther König, Köln. Text by Joshua Chuang, Wolfgang Pehnt.
This two-volume publication examines the early work of photographer Robert Adams (born 1937) in relation to the German architect Rudolf Schwarz (1897–1961). In a previously unpublished text, Adams reveals a close connection between his photography and the European architect. In the 1960s, on his only European tour, Adams focused specifically on Rudolf Schwarz's churches in Aachen and Cologne, which left a lasting mark on Adams and inspired his decision to become a photographer and his early choice of subject, the Denver suburbs. As Adams wrote, Schwarz's buildings "helped suggest to me, when I returned to America, that not just churches, but whole urban and suburban landscapes might be revealed as sacred if we brought to them a measure of the same passionate regard that Schwarz had brought to his specifically religious commissions."
A Road Through Shore Pine focuses on a series of 18 photographs by Robert Adams (born 1937), taken in Nehalem Bay State Park, Oregon, in fall 2013. Adams documents a contemplative journey, made first by automobile, then by foot, along an isolated, tree-bordered road to the sea. The passage takes on the quality of metaphor, suggestive of life's most meaningful journeys, especially its final ones. For this group of photographs, all of which were printed by Adams himself, the artist returned to the use of a medium-format camera, allowing the depiction of an intense amount of detail. Adams writes of these photographs: "The road is one that my family traveled often and fondly. Many of its members are gone now, and Kerstin and I visit the road for the example of the trees." Adams had stored this work in an archival print box on which he inscribed in pencil a line from the journal of the Greek poet George Seferis: "A marvelous road, enough to make you weep; pine trees, pine trees…."
The Place We Live traces Robert Adams' deep engagement with the geography of the American West, weaving together various aspects of over four decades of work into a cohesive, epic narrative of the American experience. Taken as a whole, this publication elucidates the photographer's civic goals: to consider the privilege of the place we were given and the obligations of citizenship. Printed with an unprecedented fidelity to the photographer's original prints, volumes one and two reflect Adams' exacting, compelling sequence of nearly 400 plates and bring together texts written by the photographer to accompany his photographic projects. Volume three offers a detailed chronology of Adams' life, an illustrated bibliography of his monographs, selections from his personal archive, and a series of critical essays on his work by Joshua Chuang, Tod Papageorge, Jock Reynolds and John Szarkowski.
Published by Matthew Marks Gallery/Fraenkel Gallery.
With Light Balances, Robert Adams (born 1937) delves into the endless permutations of rhythm and contrast that take place between sunlight and trees. Photographing in a protected forest around the Columbia River estuary near the town of Astoria, Oregon, where he has lived since 1997, Adams undertook a study of the area that is Cézanne-like in its single-minded attention to nature’s minute shifts and variations. These 59 black-and-white photographs, made between 2005 and 2011, revel in the interplay of sunlight and leaves, branches, trunks, grass and the dirt of the forest floor, attaining a rich variety of texture and pattern that is at once filled with specificities and diffusely abstract. Published concurrently with Adams’ international touring retrospective, this beautifully produced volume shows a master photographer eliciting marvelous subtleties from the landscape of the Northwest.
Robert Adams began by photographing suburban landscapes along the edge of the Rocky Mountains. His goal was to record the erasure of the American wilderness, while attempting to affirm what survives of it. For Adams, photography at this juncture in history presents a melancholy vocation: "It seems to me that we are now compelled to recognize that we have no place to go but where we've been," he judges. "We've got to go look at what we've done, which is oftentimes pretty awful, and see if we can't make of this place a civilized home." In Gone?, his most personal work to date, Adams lives out the implications of these words. In the 1980s, he revisited semi-rural areas he had known as a boy-landscapes that were no longer pristine, but which still retained their own particular qualities of light.
This volume commemorates Robert Adams' receipt of the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography for 2009. Described by the Swedish foundation as "one of the most important and influential photographers of the last 40 years," Adams joins a very distinguished line of contemporary photographers who have won the award, such as Graciela Iturbide (2008) and Nan Goldin (2007). The Foundation singled out Adams' ability to consolidate the medium's history: "as photography has altered and fragmented, he has refined and reaffirmed its inherent language, adapting the legacies of nineteenth-century and modernist photography to his own very singular purpose. Precise and undramatic, Adams' accumulative vision of theWest now stands as a formidable document, reflecting broader, global concerns about the environment,while consistently recognizing signs of human aspiration and elements of hope, across a particular changing landscape."
Published by Aperture/Yale University Art Gallery.
In this exquisitely produced book, the influential American photographer Robert Adams revisits the classic collection of nocturnal landscapes that he began making in the mid-1970s near his former home in Longmont, Colorado. Originally published by Aperture in 1985 as Summer Nights, this new edition has been carefully reedited and resequenced by the photographer, who has added 39 previously unpublished images. Illuminated by moonlight and streetlamp, the houses, roads, sidewalks and fields in Summer Nights, Walking retain the wonder and stillness of the original edition, while adopting the artist's intention of a dreamy fluidity, befitting his nighttime perambulations. The extraordinary care taken with the new reproductions also registers Adams' attention to the subtleties of the night, and conveys his appeal to look again at places we might have dismissed as uninteresting. Adams observes, "What attracted me to the subjects at a new hour was the discovery then of a neglected peace."
In this exquisitely produced signed and numbered volume, the influential American photographer Robert Adams revisits the classic collection of nocturnal landscapes that he began making in the mid-1970s near his former home in Longmont, Colorado. Originally published by Aperture in 1985 as Summer Nights, this new edition has been carefully reedited and resequenced by the photographer, who has added 39 previously unpublished images. Illuminated by moonlight and streetlamp, the houses, roads, sidewalks and fields in Summer Nights, Walking retain the wonder and stillness of the original edition, while adopting the artist's intention of a dreamy fluidity, befitting his nighttime perambulations. The extraordinary care taken with the new reproductions also registers Adams' attention to the subtleties of the night, and conveys his appeal to look again at places we might have dismissed as uninteresting. Adams observes, "What attracted me to the subjects at a new hour was the discovery then of a neglected peace." Limited edition of 150 copies.
Published by Aperture. Foreword by John Szarkowski.
Originally published in 1974, Robert Adams' The New West signaled a paradigm shift in the photographic representation of American landscapes. Foregoing photography's traditional role of romanticizing the Western landscape, Adams focused instead on the construction of tract and mobile homes, subdivisions, shopping centers and urban sprawl in the suburbs of Colorado Springs and the Denver area. Adams transmuted these zones with his minimalist vision of their austerity; as he has noted, "no place is boring, if you've had a good night's sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film." Objective and direct, Adams' photographs, rendered in his signature middle-gray scale, unsentimentally depict a despoiled landscape washed in the intense Colorado sunlight. Today The New West stands alongside Walker Evans' American Photographs, Robert Frank's The Americans and Stephen Shore's Uncommon Places in the pantheon of landmark projects on American culture and society. This second reissue of the classic publication has been recreated from Adams' original prints, and will be released ahead of a major traveling exhibition that will launch in 2010. Foreword by John Szarkowski.
Published by Matthew Marks Gallery/Fraenkel Gallery.
Questions for an Overcast Day is a series of 33 photographs of young alder trees growing along the Oregon coastline near the artist's home. The series begins by focusing on the branches of the trees, and, progressing from one image to the next, narrows its focus, culminating with several images of a single leaf. The leaves on the trees appear perforated, the precise cause of which is unknown. The artist likens the particular pattern of erosion on each leaf to hieroglyphics, reading in them a unique "calligraphy of disaster." About them, Adams writes: What would account for the condition of the leaves-- drought, insects, rocky ground, disease, herbicide, wind? Are the leaves beautiful? As with the artist's earlier photographs--of suburban detritus, tract housing under construction and devastated, clear-cut forests--the viewer is invited to find beauty as it coexists with the imperfection, even destruction, of the present day.
Published by Aperture. Text by Richard B. Woodward.
Robert Adams, one of America's foremost living photographers, has spent decades considering and documenting the landscape of the American West and the ways it has been altered, disturbed, or destroyed by the hand of man. A professor of English before turning to photography, Adams is also a skilled writer and acute thinker on aesthetic questions. Aperture's previous bestselling collections of his essays, Beauty in Photography and Why People Photograph, assembled his thoughts on a range of subjects, including writing, teaching, photography's place in the arts and a host of fellow photographers. Along Some Rivers collects Adams's correspondence and conversations--some of which have never been published before--with writers and curators including William McEwan, Constance Sullivan and Thomas Weski. In so doing, it provides another point of entry, offering a portrait of the artist in debate and elucidating his thoughts on a number of his now legendary projects, including Cottonwoods and What We Bought. Adams also expounds on why, in his view, Marcel Duchamp has not been a helpful guide for art, and he discusses which filmmakers and painters have influenced him, which cameras he prefers and how he approaches printing his pictures. Along Some Rivers also includes a selection of 28 unpublished landscapes.
Published by Aperture. Photographs by Robert Adams.
Summer Nights is a sequence of nightscapes photographed along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Adams's attention to the subtleties of extreme light and dark emphasizes his appeal to look again at places often overlooked. "What attracted me to the subjects at a new hour," he observes, "was the discovery of a neglected peace."
Published by Aperture. Text and essays by Robert Adams.
A now classic text on the art, Why People Photograph gathers a selection of essays by the great master photographer Robert Adams, tackling such diverse subjects as collectors, humor, teaching, money and dogs. Adams also writes brilliantly on Edward Weston, Paul Strand, Laura Gilpin, Judith Joy Ross, Susan Meiselas, Michael Schmidt, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Eugène Atget. The book closes with two essays on “working conditions” in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century American West, and the essay “Two Landscapes.” Adams writes: “At our best and most fortunate we make pictures because of what stands in front of the camera, to honor what is greater and more interesting than we are.”
The eight essays in Beauty in Photography provide a critical appreciation of photography by one of its foremost proponents. The result is a rare book of criticism, alive to the pleasure and mysteries of true exploration.
Published by Fraenkel Gallery/Matthew Marks Gallery. Photographs by Robert Adams.
Turning Back: A Photographic Journal of Re-Exploration is published to coincide with the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The narrative begins at the Pacific Ocean and moves eastward through what was formerly one of the world's great rain forests. Photographs at the center of the book report on the forest's destruction. Elsewhere they trace a search for hope. Two hundred years ago, Lewis and Clark reported finding in the American Northwest a vast forest of ancient evergreens. In Turning Back Robert Adams looks again at the region's trees, discovering evidence both of America's failure and of a continuing promise. President Jefferson's primary charge to Lewis and Clark was to prepare the way for American commerce. Today, historians still speculate about why, upon his return, Lewis lapsed into depression and apparently committed suicide. “Going east,” Adams suggests, “was more difficult than going west.” So what is the future? Turning Back documents two kinds of predictive evidence. On the one hand we observe the results of greed so unrestrained that they are indistinguishable from those of nihilism. On the other we see what still lives, whether by our design or neglect, or Providence; in these 164 pictures the tone is celebratory, as in a prayer book. From coastal landscapes populated with tourists to timber clear-cutting and small family farms in eastern Oregon, here we reflect on what was lost, what is retained, and what we value both regionally and as a people with a common history.
Landscapes Along the Colorado Front Range 1968-1972
Published by Roth Horowitz, LLC/PPP Editions. Photographs by Robert Adams.
“To what extent can we love the developing American West? We know the urgency of that question because bitterness has sometimes made us exiles. My first attempt to describe the region in a book (The New West, 1974) omitted pictures that might have helped. I am grateful now to be able to reproduce them. They record a geography that is still in some respects characteristic, one where we could do better but where the rest is faultless. At about the time I took the pictures I read an interview with Raoul Coutard, Jean-Luc Godard's cameraman. In it Coutard noted with gratitude that 'daylight has an inhuman faculty for always being perfect.' It is one of the mercies, I believe, by which each of us is allowed to live.” --Robert Adams, from Commercial/Residential
PUBLISHER ROTH HOROWITZ, LLC/PPP EDITIONS
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 9 x 8 in. / 43 pgs / 40 tritone.
PUBLISHING STATUS PUB DATE 6/2/2003 Out of print
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. EXCLUSIVE CATALOG: FALL 2003
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9780971548015FLAT40 LIST PRICE: $55.00 CDN $65.00
AVAILABILITY Not Available
STATUS: Out of print | 11/28/2010
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Views by Robert Adams of the Los Angeles Basin, 1978-1983
Published by Fraenkel Gallery/Matthew Marks Gallery. Introduction by Robert Hass.
Since the 1960's, Robert Adams has used his camera lens to document the changing landscape of the United States. Covering the turbulent period from 1978 to 1983, Robert Adams' photographs of the Los Angeles basin document a disintegration that is at once social and ecological. At the same time, however, they reveal a persistent verdancy and vitality in the landscape that contains a glimmer of hope. This hope that Adams shares with the viewer is much like the hope held out at the end of a classical tragedy--insistent, yet difficult to account for. In California we find a bird in a defoliated orchard, a suddenly clear day on a quiet road, the astonishing silhouette of a eucalyptus in smog--and we are left wondering how to explain these seemingly unreal moments.The images here constitute yet another chapter in the oeuvre of one of the most important landscape photographers of our time, building on and communicating with Adams' continuing contribution to the national dialogue about America's health and future--as well as his monumental contribution to contemporary photography. Printed in stunning tritones, this new monograph features a revelatory introduction by former United States Poet Laureate Robert Hass.