The Place We Live: Robert Adams

Robert Adams has photographed the American West for decades, showing us a landscape that is constantly changing. His love for nature, as well as his fear of what we are doing to it, inspires every shot that he takes. He has the unique ability to capture the feeling of loneliness as well as hope. We see the solitude and sadness of a scarred landscape mixed with the joy of seeing open fields and beautiful skies. There is a feeling that all is not lost. The presence of humanity has scarred the earth, but, with care, those scars will heal. The real question is what do we do about it? How do we fix it? He wants us not to just see what is around us, but to be aware of it, to know what we could lose if we are not careful. He said in his artist statement from his series 1974 series, “The New West”, “Many have asked, pointing incredulously toward a sweep of tract homes and billboards, why picture that? The question sounds simple, but it implies a difficult issue—why open our eyes anywhere but in undamaged places like national parks?One reason is, of course, that we do not live in parks, that we need to improve things at home, and that to do it we have to see the facts without blinking. We need to watch, for example, as an old woman, alone, is forced to carry her groceries in August heat over a fifty acre parking lot; then we know, safe from the comforting lies of profiteers, that we must begin again. Paradoxically, however, we also need to see the whole geography, natural and man-made, to experience a peace; all land, no matter what has happened to it, has over it a grace, an absolutely persistent beauty.” There is an exhibit being held through October at the Yale University Art Gallery called “The Place We Live,” which is a retrospective of Adam’s 40 year career. Featuring over 300 prints of his work, it is well worth checking out.


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[via Huffington Post]