Robert Adams

For over four decades Robert Adams has photographed the geography of the American West, finding there a fragile beauty that endures despite our troubled relationship with the natural world.

Adams’s photographs are distinguished not only by their economy and lucidity, but also by their mixture of grief and hope. On the one hand, his pictures acknowledge an impoverishing loss of space and silence, and the opportunity they provided for focus; they also record the inhumanity of much that has been built, and the ferocity of our attack on the environment. On the other hand, they remain alert to the startling eloquence of trees, the signs of caring and joy in people, and the redemptive power that sunlight continues to have even as it falls across suburbs.

The complex duality that tensions each of Adams’s pictures also resonates throughout his larger body of work, especially when experienced through the more than thirty photographic books he has published to date. Taken together, his pictures, books, and texts are epic in their scope and urgent in their tone. They are an invitation to celebrate the privilege of living where we do, and to consider the obligations that follow from that privilege. In a compromised world, they find a balance, an unexpected calm that reflects his lifelong endeavor to describe accurately “a landscape into which all fragments, no matter how imperfect, fit perfectly.”
- Joshua Chuang, Assistant Curator of Photographs, Yale University Art Gallery

Robert Adams is an Oregon based photographer.
To view more of Robert Adams's work, please visit The Fraenkel Gallery or the Yale University Art Gallery

Robert Adams: The Place We Live, A Retrospective Selection of Photographs opens at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on March 12, 2012


North of Keota, Colorado (from The Plains, 1965-1973) 

Colorado Springs, Colorado (from The New West, 1968-1971) 

New tracts, west edge of Denver, Colorado (from What We Bought, 1970-1974) 

Colorado Springs, Colorado (from The New West, 1968-1971) 

Sunday-school class, Colorado Springs, Colorado (from The New West, 1968-1971) 

Longmont, Colorado (from Our Parents, Our Children, 1979-1983) 

Longmont, Colorado (from What We Bought, 1970-1974) 

Longmont, Colorado (from Summer Nights, 1976-1982) 

New development on a former citrus-growing estate, Highland, California (from Los Angeles Spring, 1978-1983) 

Quarried mesa top, Puebla County, Colorado (from the Missouri West, 1975-1983) 

Cape Blanco State Park, Oregon (from Turning Back, 1999-2003) 

Clatsop County, Oregon (from Turning Back, 1999-2003) 

Baker County, Oregon (from Pine Valley, 2000-2003) 

Neahkahnie Mountain, Oregon (from Questions For An Overcast Day, 2004) 

Baker County, Oregon (from Pine Valley, 2000-2003)