Robert Adams has been photographing the American West for more than fifty years. Instead of the pristine grandeur idealized by traditional landscape photographers, Adams has trained his camera on the suburban sprawl around the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and on forests decimated by clearcutting in the Pacific Northwest. His pictures document the effects of human incursions on the natural world, as well as the redemptive beauty of nature in the face of such widespread and unremitting abuse of the land. “The job of the photographer,” he has written, “is not to catalogue indisputable fact but to try to be coherent about intuition and hope.”
The work of Robert Adams (b. 1937) has been exhibited around the world. The Philadelphia Museum of Art organized a retrospective in 1989, and four years later his photographs were included in Documenta 10. Organized by the Yale University Art Gallery in 2010, “The Place We Live, a Retrospective Selection of Photographs”, which comprised more than three hundred prints, traveled to the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Denver Art Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Josef Albers Museum Quadrat, the Fotomuseum Winterthur, and the Jeu de Paume in Paris. Adams was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1994 and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2014. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, will open a retrospective of his work in 2021.