@ Robert Adams “I shot about 450 rolls of film, all up and down the Front Range, mostly in the Denver area, though. And the work from that sat under—I printed it all and mounted every print, but it sat under my work table for about—whatever it was—I mean, like 20-some years.” Excerpt […]
“In very broad terms, it seems that the work made in the West during the 20th century portrays a prolonged event – a disaster, you could say – that unfolded as modernity overtook the landscape and ideologies were instilled in American culture”.
“At some point during that time I was painting inside an abandoned factory and I came across the body of a guy who hung himself. I remember my teacher in painting saying that I should have made a painting of the dude hanging. This teacher later suicided as well. I had several friends kill themselves during that period, maybe a Belgian thing?”
Photographer Robert Adams discusses the mystery and contradictions involved in capturing the American West on film. He describes making pictures of Colorado and California, where he uncovered both the darkness and the beauty of humans’ impact on the land.
“Visually and technically for photography, the season is something of a conundrum, it is firstly a phenomenon that catches our impassioned attentions but it is also incredibly loathsome to be captured on film…”
“I think Michael felt the need to discuss the meaning and importance of American photography with a younger generation in Germany who had no experience with these kinds of elderly figures. The National Socialists had either killed or persecuted them in Germany, so for my generation there was no elderly generation in photography.”
“A good number of the images allegedly had annotations written on the images such as “not interested in pictures”, “Deceased”, and “Looks better from the ground” written on them”
‘linoleum buckles on counter tops, and unseasoned lumber twists walls out of plumb before the first occupants arrive.’
“My work in the landscape is ultimately about human culture, not about nature. I always think of landscape as historical, or historicized; as not existing outside of history.”
“By definition art is not propaganda; the goal is not to excite people to action but to help them find a sense of wholeness and thereby a sense of calm.” Excerpt from a 2014 Hasselblad Award chat transcript Question: Congratulations! You have been taking pictures of the American West for four decades now. Why […]
Born in Orange, New Jersey, in 1937, Robert Adams grew up in Wisconsin and Colorado, where he lived for more than three decades before settling in Oregon. Since his beginnings in photography in the mid-1960s, Adams is considered by many to be one of the most important and influential chroniclers of the American West. Through […]
One is grateful for The Pond because we are in trouble, and because irony which focuses on the ugliness of man-made juxtapositions does not at this point, by itself, help. By Robert Adams, excerpt from Creative Camera: 30 Years of Writing (Manchester University Press, 2000) Irony, defined as unrecognized incongruity, take many forms as […]