Robert Adams, images of the American West

Currently at the Denver Art Museum is an exhibit of the photographic work of Robert Adams.  Robert Adams grew up in Colorado and is best known for his photographs of the New West - the human impacts on the landscape.  Unlike Ansel Adam's stunningly beautiful images of western landscapes, Robert Adam's images are a combination of the joy and beauty of the west alongside its degradation and exploitation.

 

Many of Adam's most arresting images are those of the new housing encroachments on the landscape throughout the 1960' and 70's.  The stark, high-altitude light of the Front Range puts into sharp focus the stark isolation of the suburban dream contrasted against the expansive emptiness of the western sky.

 

I first ran into Adam's work through the many books of photography that he produced.  The New West, Summer Nights and West from the Columbia are but a few of the more than twenty books of thoughtful, sometimes disturbing, but always beautiful  images.

 

I strongly recommend the exhibit.  It is simply presented and the images are arresting and intriguing in a way that the books can only hint at.

 

Robert Adams

The Place We Live, A Retrospective Selection of Photographs

Sept 25 - Jan 1, Denver Art Museum

(all photos by Robert Adams, from What Can We Believe Where? )