LACMA Hosts a Retrospective of the Great Photographer of the American West
An isolated roadside placard promises a path to paradise in one of venerated photographer Robert Adams’s tranquil landscapes capturing the expansive natural beauty and inexorable suburban development of California, Colorado and Oregon over the past five decades. One of the foremost chroniclers of the American West, Adams came to prominence with his landmark 1975 show New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape. The definitive retrospective The Place We Live, which opens at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art today, offers an exhaustive look at the icon’s 40-year career, edited and sequenced by Adams himself. “Like the greatest artists, he has an affection for the thing he is criticizing,” explains Edward Robinson, Associate Curator of LACMA. “He found beauty in the more ordinary and seemingly mundane circumstances of our lives, and that was a radical proposition.” Comprising more than 300 gelatin silver prints, the show reveals the breathtaking spectrum of Adams’s landscapes from his early 1960s documentation of Colorado’s suburban strip to his most recent series, a meditative study of the Pacific Northwest’s glinting seascapes taken at the mouth of the Columbia River.