Originally published in 1974, Robert Adams’s The New West signaled a significant shift in photographic representation of the American landscape. Eschewing photography’s role in romanticizing the Western land_scape, Adams focused instead on the construction of tract and mobile homes, subdivisions, shopping centers, and urban sprawl in the suburbs of Colorado Springs and the Denver area. Objective and direct, Adams’s photographs, rendered in his signature middle-gray scale, unsentimentally depict a despoiled landscape washed in the intense Colorado sunlight.
The New West stands alongside Walker Evans’sAmerican Photographs, Robert Frank’s The Americans, and Stephen Shore’s Uncommon Places in the pantheon of landmark projects on American culture and society. This second reissue of the classic publication has been recreated from Adams’s original prints, and will be released ahead of a major traveling exhibition that will launch in 2010.
This project was made possible, in part, through the generosity of Lynne and Harold Honickman and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.
Robert Adams (born Orange, New Jersey, 1937) is a major figure in New Topographics movement known for his photographs of the modern American West. A recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, two Guggenheim Fellowships, the Spectrum International Prize for Photography, and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, his many books include: From the Missouri West (1980),Beauty in Photography: Essays in Defense of Traditional Values (1981), Our Lives and Our Children (1983),Summer Nights, Walking (1985), Los Angeles Spring(1986), and Perfect Times, Perfect Places (1988). Adams’s work has been widely exhibited, including in a major retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.