Organized by the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery at Reed College
Susan Fillin-Yeh and Leo Rubinfien, Curators
Robert Adams’s thinking about photography includes, but ranges far beyond, aesthetic considerations into the human consequences of environmental degradation, urban sprawl, and public land policy. He is interested in the core of man’s contact with nature and how art and religion have controlled this transaction. In order to follow these philosophical subtexts to Adams’s work, the exhibition is divided into conceptual blocks: Sunlight, Emptiness, Artifact, Solitude, Citizen, Home, Democracy, Wreckage, Flowering, Scintillae, and Civilization. Unlike Adams’ bodies of work that are grouped by geographical region, this exhibition maps the aesthetic and philosophical topographies in this work by drawing upon his entire output and forming it into new chronological and conceptual paths in order to better grasp the artists’ larger intentions.
Robert Adams is well known as an artist and writer. His numerous projects and publications include The New West, 1974; From the Missouri West, 1980; Los Angeles Spring, 1986; To Make it Home: Photographs of the American West,1989; West from the Columbia: Views at the River Mouth, 1995; and Eden, 1999. He is the recipient of NEA and Guggenheim fellowships, and most recently, the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. He holds a Ph.D. in English from UCLA and his writings, collected in Beauty in Photography: Essays in Defense of Traditional Values, 1981, have affected an entire generation of students with their eloquent connections between photography and science, history, poetry, philosophy and art in other media. For the past several years he has been living in Astoria, Oregon, at the mouth of the Columbia River.
NUMBER OF WORKS: 70
TOUR DATES: April 2002 - July 2002
SUPPORT MATERIALS: Exhibition catalogue