Robert Adams: The Place We Live

BCAM, Level 2
March 11, 2012–June 3, 2012

Since taking up photography in the mid-1960s as a response to the rapidly changing landscape of his native Colorado, Robert Adams has been widely regarded as one of the leading chroniclers of the American West. Edited and sequenced by Adams himself, The Place We Live surveys a career spanning four decades. This unprecedented retrospective features nearly 300 black-and-white photographic prints as well as a selection of the artist's many important photo books. Adams’s work reflects his extended dedication to describing the changing Western landscape, the growth of its built environment and the lives of its inhabitants. The Los Angeles presentation highlights Adams’s extraordinary portrayal of the terrain of the Los Angeles region.

Exhibition and publications organized by Joshua Chuang, Assistant Curator of Photographs, and Jock Reynolds, the Henry J. Heinz II Director, Yale University Art Gallery. Made possible by Yale alumni and friends: Helen Buchanan; Allan K. Chasanoff; Lara Rubin Constable and the Reed Foundation; Nathaniel W. Gibbons; Betsy and Frank Karel; Saundra B. Lane; Melanie and Rick Mayer and the MFUNd; Mr. and Mrs. Alexander K. McLanahan; Ms. Eliot Nolen and Mr. Timothy P. Bradley; Risher Randall, Sr.; the Shamos Family Foundation; Mary Jo and Ted P. Shen; Jane P. Watkins; the Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund; and an endowment created with a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The acquisition of Robert Adams’s master prints was made possible through a gift from Saundra B. Lane, a grant from the Trellis Fund, and the Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund. The Los Angeles presentation was made possible in part by LACMA’s Wallis Annenberg Director’s Endowment Fund. Image: Robert Adams, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1969, gelatin silver print mounted to board, Yale University Art Gallery purchased with a gift from Saundra B. Lane, a grant from the Trellis Fund, and the Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund.

Edge of San Timoteo Canyon, looking toward Los Angeles, Redlands, California
Robert Adams
Southwest from the South Jetty, Clatsop County, Oregon
Robert Adams
Abandoned windbreak, West of Fontana, California
Robert Adams
1982, printed 1996
North Denver, Colorado
Robert Adams
circa 1970

Susan Straight Reads Robert Adams

I wasn’t surprised to learn that Susan Straight, an author with a keen ability to conjure location, is drawn to the work of Robert Adams, a photographer of oft-overlooked places. They seem to share a sensibility, and a familiarity with the landscape east of Los Angeles, and of the American west more generally. Take this passage from Straight’s 1996 novel The Gettin Place...

Robert Adams Retrospective: The Poet/Sage’s Pictures

Robert Adams is on the road, on the great American blacktop falling into that infinite horizon. Nearly three hundred photographs from his forty-year career are on view now through June 3 in BCAM in the exhibition, Robert Adams: The Place We Live, a Retrospective Selection of Photographs. For Adams, it’s Colorado in all directions: north of Keota, Box Butte County, Bowen, Arriba, Otis, Weld County, Boulder County, Niwot, Lookout Mountain, Pueblo County, Colorado Springs, Denver, on and on...