06
Jan
11

Exhibition: ‘Robert Adams:
 The Place We Live, A Retrospective Selection of Photographs’ at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Exhibition dates: 25th September, 2010 – 16th January, 2011

 

Robert Adams. 'Colorado Springs, Colorado' 1968

 

Robert Adams (American, b. 1937)
Colorado Springs, Colorado
1968
Gelatin silver print
Yale University Art Gallery
Purchased with a gift from Saundra B. Lane, a grant from Trellis Fund, and the Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund

 

 

What a pleasure it is to post these photographs from the outstanding photographer Robert Adams. The photograph Longmont, Colorado (1979, below) has become truly iconic and will be recognised instantly by many art aficionados around the world: the glowing neon lights, the empty gondolas, towering, brooding skies and solitary, isolated human. The creature in the photograph Sitka spruce, Cape Blanco State Park, Curry County, Oregon (1999-2000, below) impinges my consciousness like a Lernaean Hydra, an ancient, nameless, multi-headed serpent-like water beast. The eloquently understated series Listening to the River (1985-1987, several photographs below) completes the picture, a tour de force of apposition: each image positioned at rest in respect to another: quiet, still, but visually complex.

There is a crispness and cleanness to Adams work that belie the complexity of his subject matter. Tension and balance within the pictorial frame is the key: formal yet fecund, these intellectually productive images challenge us to imagine, and to name, our relationship with the earth and every place that we live.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to the Vancouver Art Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image. All images © the artist and Vancouver Art Gallery.

 

Robert Adams. 'Frame for a Tract House, Colorado Springs, Colorado' 1969

 

Robert Adams (American, b. 1937)
Frame for a Tract House, Colorado Springs, Colorado
1969
Gelatin silver print
Yale University Art Gallery
Purchased with a gift from Saundra B. Lane, a grant from Trellis Fund, and the Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund

 

Robert Adams. 'Longmont, Colorado' 1979

 

Robert Adams (American, b. 1937)
Longmont, Colorado
1979
Gelatin silver print
Yale University Art Gallery
Purchased with a gift from Saundra B. Lane, a grant from Trellis Fund, and the Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund

 

Robert Adams. 'Edge of San Timoteo Canyon, looking toward Los Angeles, Redlands, California' 1978

 

Robert Adams (American, b. 1937)
Edge of San Timoteo Canyon, looking toward Los Angeles,
Redlands, California
1978
Gelatin silver print
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

 

Robert Adams. 'Santa Ana Wash, Redlands, California' 1983, printed 1991

 

Robert Adams (American, b. 1937)
Santa Ana Wash, Redlands, California
1983, printed 1991
Gelatin silver print
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

 

Robert Adams. 'Quarried Mesa Top, Pueblo County, Colorado' 1978

 

Robert Adams (American, b. 1937)
Quarried Mesa Top, Pueblo County, Colorado
1978
Gelatin silver print
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

 

Robert Adams. 'Ranch Northeast of Keota, Colorado' 1969

 

Robert Adams (American, b. 1937)
Ranch Northeast of Keota, Colorado
1969
Gelatin silver print
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

 

Robert Adams. 'Southwest from the South Jetty, Clatsop County, Oregon' 1992

 

Robert Adams (American, b. 1937)
Southwest from the South Jetty, Clatsop County, Oregon
1992
Gelatin silver print
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

 

 

Over the past four decades photographer Robert Adams has come to be widely regarded as one of the most original and significant chroniclers of the western American landscape. The first large-scale exhibition of Adams’ work to be presented in Canada, The Place We Live traces his longstanding engagement with the degradation of the environment in the face of suburban development. The exhibition includes more than 300 photographs representing each of Adams’ major projects, from his austere photographs of the Colorado prairie that pay homage to earlier inhabitants, to his unflinching images of the land, workplaces, shopping centres and homes around Denver, as well as recent images of the remains of the great rainforest near his present home in the American Pacific Northwest.

Spare and dispassionate, yet rich with formal invention, Adams’ remarkable images resist simplification of subjects both ordinary and grand, balancing the complexities and contradictions found in modern life. Seen as a whole, the exhibition clearly reveals an approach to art-making that on the one hand seeks to bear witness to humanity’s tenuous relationship with the natural world and, on the other, to celebrate the unexpected sublimity that persists in the face of despoliation.

The reach of Adams’ work has been felt primarily through his publications, which include more than 30 monographs. Adams’ books are an integral component of the exhibition and provide the viewer with the opportunity to further consider the manner in which he has addressed the fear, curiosity and inspiration the American landscape has engendered throughout his career. The international tour of this exhibition is being launched at the Vancouver Art Gallery and is accompanied by a catalogue and a three-volume, hard cover book.

Text from the Vancouver Art Gallery website [Online] Cited

 

Robert Adams. 'In a New Subdivision, Colorado Springs, Colorado' 1969

 

Robert Adams (American, b. 1937)
In a New Subdivision, Colorado Springs, Colorado
1969
Gelatin silver print
Yale University Art Gallery
Purchased with a gift from Saundra B. Lane, a grant from Trellis Fund, and the Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund

 

Robert Adams. 'Sitka spruce, Cape Blanco State Park, Curry County, Oregon' 1999-2000

 

Robert Adams (American, b. 1937)
Sitka spruce, Cape Blanco State Park, Curry County,
Oregon
1999-2000
Gelatin silver print
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

 

Robert Adams. 'Kerstin, Next to an Old-Growth Stump, Coos County, Oregon' 1999-2003

 

Robert Adams (American, b. 1937)
Kerstin, Next to an Old-Growth Stump, Coos County, Oregon
1999-2003
Gelatin silver print
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

 

Robert Adams. 'Untitled' from the series 'Listening to the River' 1985-87

 

Robert Adams. 'Untitled' from the series 'Listening to the River' 1985-87

 

Robert Adams. 'Untitled' from the series 'Listening to the River' 1985-87

 

Robert Adams. 'Untitled' from the series 'Listening to the River' 1985-87

 

Robert Adams (American, b. 1937)
Untitled
from the series Listening to the River
1985-87
Gelatin silver print
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

 

 

Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby Street, Vancouver
BC V6Z 2H7
Info Line: 604.662.4719

Gallery hours:
Daily 10 am to 5 pm
Tuesdays until 9 pm

Vancouver Art Gallery website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

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