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Robert Adams: The Place We Live, a Retrospective Selection of Photographs, 1964-2009 (Yale Univ. Art Gallery) [Hardcover]

by Robert Adams, Director Jock Reynolds, Joshua Chuang
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 13, 2011 0300141378 978-0300141375

Photographer Robert Adams (b. 1937) is widely regarded as one of the most significant and influential chroniclers of the American West, renowned for his austere views of a landscape profoundly changed by human development. This stunning three-volume set—printed with an unprecedented fidelity to the photographer's master prints—accompanies a major traveling exhibition and is the first publication to comprehensively survey Adams's 45-year career.

Presenting an epic sequence of nearly 400 tritone plates, Robert Adams: The Place We Live features selections from all of Adams's major projects, including his seminal work in the suburbs of Colorado Springs and Denver and his most recent, elegiac portrayals of trees in the Pacific Northwest. Also included is an anthology of texts by the photographer, a series of critical essays on Adams's life and work, and an illustrated bibliography and chronology that will shed new light on one of the central American artists of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

From Bookforum

The unrelenting perfectionism of Adams's artistic ideal ("a tension so exact it is peace") has much in common with that of a certain sort of lyric poem, one that similarly has not the slightest room for carelessness of any sort. —Michael Fried


“Exquisite . . . a lasting testament to an extraordinary life’s work."—Michael Mack, TIME (Best Photobooks of 2011) (Michael Mack TIME )

“Adams’s artistic ideal. . . has much in common with that of a certain sort of lyric poem, one that similarly has not the slightest room for carelessness of any sort. . . . I personally would have felt a lot better about the state of artistic culture in the 1970s and 1980s had I been aware of Adams’s example.”—Michael Fried, Bookforum
(Michael Fried Bookforum )

“Adams's work is an antidote . . . a lesson in caring about the places we live and the land we use, in all their failings and glory.”—Aaron Rothman, Design Observer
(Aaron Rothman Design Observer )

“Adams may be the greatest living American photographer.”—Tyler Green, Modern Art Notes
(Tyler Green Modern Art Notes )

“[Adams’s] photographs from the ’60s, ’70s, and early ’80s, taken as a whole, are one of the great 20th-century American documents, in any medium, and he is among the few living artists, again in any medium, who deserve the title of American master.”—Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
(Mark Freeney Boston Globe )

“A splendid retrospective exhibition . . . [that] surveys an oeuvre that is as compelling for its understated style as for its moral ferocity. . . . a beautiful three-volume catalog.“—Ken Johnson, New York Times
(Ken Johnson New York Times )

[Adams’s] photographs, dating to the 1960s, feel amazingly prescient—often radical—today.”—Martha Schwendener, New York Times
(Martha Schwendener New York Times )

"Judging from its three-volume catalog, the retrospective of the esteemed American photographer Robert Adams at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven is a stunning event.”—Roberta Smith, New York Times
(The New York Times )

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 627 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300141378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300141375
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 11.2 x 4.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #977,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Adams, born in 1937, came to prominence as part of the photographic movement known as New Topographics. His work has been widely exhibited both in Europe and the United States. He is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Spectrum International Prize for Photography, and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Place We Live--and a reason to live there, too September 13, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Photographer Robert Adams has published more than 30 books of photographs over the past 40 years, and is best known for "The New West", a devastating indictment of the damage done to the western landscape by thoughtless development, a book that, at least at first viewing, seems to be full of bitterness and irony. Other books by Adams (for example, "Listening to the River") reveal a much gentler view of the landscape, and seem, at first viewing, to be the work of a different artist.

What one hopes for in a retrospective work is some kind of line through all the work of an artist, a discussion of the path the artist followed--and this three volume set does that job splendidly. The frontispiece of the book shows two neighbors standing in a barren yard, chatting--an iconic image from "The New West"--and the last image in volume 3 is of a dog sitting quietly next to what might be the grave of a previous dog, an image from "I hear the leaves and love the light". And between these two images are many photographs and stories--some of them familiar from previous books--but a substantial number of new images, all of which serve the purpose of connecting the dots of Adams career. For example, volume 3 begins with a five page spread of photographs of a single cottonwood tree, lovingly photographed on many days over several years, but followed with two images showing an earthmover covering over the irrigation ditch that watered the tree, the beginning of a development project to convert the field to a suburban neighborhood, and ending with a night shot of the tree gently towering over the new homes, although it is not clear if the tree is living or dead.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding Beauty in the Banal April 6, 2012
Robert Adams: `Are there affirmable days or places in our deteriorating world? Are there scenes in life, right now, for which we might conceivably be thankful? Is there a basis for joy or serenity, even if felt only occasionally? Are there grounds now and then for an unironic smile?'

Robert Adams (born May 8, 1937) is an American photographer who has focused on the changing landscape of the American West. He was born n Orange, New Jersey, and lived in Madison, Wisconsin briefly before moving to Wheat Ridge, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, in 1952. As a child he developed chronic bronchial problems, and part of the reason his family moved to Colorado was to help alleviate those problems. At age 15 he began to experience chronic bronchial problems, and at age 12 he contracted polio in his back, left arm, and hand but was able to recover. He continued to suffer from asthma and allergy problems. During his childhood, Adams often accompanied his father on walks and hikes through the woods. Adams was a Boy Scout and worked in the summers of his adolescence boys' camps in the Rocky Mountains. In 1955, he hunted for the last time. During high school, he studied architectural drawing for a year.

This three volume set of superbly crafted books allows the viewer to study Adams' seemingly simple images in such a way that the real truth behind the subject matter comes through. For over four decades Robert Adams has photographed the changing landscape of the American West, finding there a fragile beauty that endures despite our troubled relationship with nature, and with ourselves.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor Package, High Price, Great Printing November 7, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Long time Adams fan, and I have many of his original books. This was a wonderful - and important - exhibition to see (LACMA). This Book/Collection: As many have said, beautiful printing and some important essays. But the publisher really missed the mark with the overall presentation - these books come in a cardboard box (like the ones used to ship modems).. terrible and cheap! No thought into storage and preservation of these books. For the price (even at 157-, let alone 250-) the publisher should have considered the overall quality/importance of this great artist and presented these books in at least a decent slip-case. But a cardboard box? Really? This is a nice collection, but it should have been treated with more care - these images, books, and Robert deserved better. BTW: Book II is mostly spreads of pages from his other books, mostly small images, showing covers, etc. Not quite what I was expecting. If money and storage/care/presentation are not a concern, then buy this, but I feel that they could have done better (eps. for the price), Robert and these nice books deserved better treatment.
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