Exhibition: ‘Robert Adams: The Place We Live, a retrospective selection of photographs’ at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

 Exhibition dates: 11th March – 3rd June 2012


Robert Adams. 'Interstate 25, Eden Colorado' 1968



Four more photographs from this fabulous retrospective, different images from the two previous postings. Many thankx to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image. More images from the retrospective can be found in these postings, when the exhibition appeared at the Denver Art Museum (DAM), September 2011 – Jan 2012 and the Vancouver Art Gallery, September 2010 – January 2011.


Many thankx to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.



“Southern California was, by the reports of those who lived there at the turn of the century, beautiful; there were live oaks on the hills, orchards across the valleys, and ornamental cypress, palms, and eucalyptus lining the roads. Even now we can almost extrapolate an Eden from what has lasted – from the architecture of old eucalyptus trunks, for example, and from the astringent perfume of the trees’ flowers as it blends with the sweetness of orange blossoms.

What citrus remain today, however, are mostly abandoned, scheduled for removal, and large eucalyptus have often been vandalized, like the hundreds west of Fontana that have been struck head high with shotgun fire. Whether those trees that stand are reassuring is a question for a lifetime. All that is clear is the perfection of what we were given, the unworthiness of our response, and the certainty, in view of our current deprivation, that we are judged.”

Robert Adams 1986



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



The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents Robert Adams: The Place We Live, A Retrospective Selection of Photographs, an exhibition that showcases the artistic legacy of American photographer Robert Adams (b. 1937) and his longstanding engagement with the contemporary Western landscape. Featuring nearly three hundred photographs and a key selection of the artist’s publications, the retrospective weaves together four decades of Adams’s work into an epic narrative of American experience in the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries. Adams’s work reflects his dedication to describing the changing Western landscape – the growth of its built environment and the lives of its inhabitants – contemplating the presence of trees, the open plains, the Pacific Ocean, and the deforestation of the Pacific Northwest. At LACMA, the exhibition highlights Adams’s extraordinary portrayal of the terrain of the Los Angeles region.

“It is hard to envision the American West without the extraordinary achievements of Robert Adams. Adams conveys the often sharp luminosity and inky shadows of western geography like no other. Yet it is in his reckoning with man’s fraught presence that Adams’s spare and terribly beautiful photographs continue to challenge us,” said Edward Robinson, associate curator of the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department, who organised LACMA’s presentation.


Exhibition overview

With nearly three hundred gelatin silver prints, the exhibition features the photographer’s major projects, from early pictures of quiet buildings and monuments erected by settlers of his native Colorado, to his most recent images of oceans and migratory birds in the Pacific Northwest. Accompanying the photographs in the exhibition are texts drawn from

Adams’s own published writings that total more than forty books to date. The reach of Adams’s work has been felt equally through his publications, which are an indispensable element of the artist’s creative practice. A selection of these books will be displayed; copies will also be available in a reading area and digitally on iPads in the exhibition, enabling visitors to experience Adams’s masterly use of the photographic book as a poetic medium in its own right.

Press release from the LACMA website


Robert Adams. 'Abandoned windbreak, West of Fontana, California' 1982


Robert Adams. 'New development on a former citrus-growing estate, Highland, California' 1983



Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
5905 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax Avenue)
Los Angeles, CA, 90036
Phone: 323 857-6000

Opening hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 11am – 6pm
Friday: 11am – 8pm
Saturday, Sunday: 10am – 7pm
Closed Wednesday

LACMA 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, an art and cultural memory archive, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Doctor 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.

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