This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features a rare interview with Robert Adams.
Adams may be the greatest living American photographer. In the 1960s and 1970s he brought a new sensibility to photographing the most classic subject in American art, the land. By emphasizing man’s impact on Colorado and its suburbs in series such as “The New West” and “What We Bought,” Adams helped pioneer art that addressed our impact on the landscape and on the Earth. While Adams is best known for his work looking at America’s consumption of Western land, he has also photographed the land he loves in ways that remind us why he loves it.
A major retrospective of his 46-year career, the first such exhibition since 1989, is on view at the Yale University Art Gallery through October 28. Titled “The Place We Live,” the show was curated by YUAG’s Joshua Chuang and Jock Reynolds. (The show has already visited the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Denver Art Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.) Virtually the entire show, images of and from Adams’s books and a detailed chronology are on YUAG’s superb exhibition website. The three-volume exhibition catalogue is particularly beautiful.
Image: Robert Adams, Burning oil sludge north of Denver, Colorado (detail), from the series, “What We Bought,” 1970-74. Collection of the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.