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Robert Adams: The Place We Live, A Retrospective Selection Of Photographs, 1964-2009 (3 Volumes)
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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›