Robert Adams, who was recently featured in Art:21 — Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 4, recently opened his first solo show in France. On view in the exhibition, titled On the Edge, are approximately 150 photographs that illustrate Adams’ lifelong devotion to the western American landscape and reflect both devastating and hopeful visions of the environment. Although human figures are usually absent from Adams’ photographs, their influence is easily perceived: a billboard mounted on a tree-covered hill, construction of suburban housing projects, graffiti in an otherwise tranquil desert view, or the consequences of “clear-cutting,” a practice of quickly and completely cutting down forests that the American West has witnessed over a period of time.
The photographic component of On the Edge is constructed around Adams’ views on the rural and urban landscape surrounding him while looking eastward and westward from his home. He is intrigued by the thought that “if we face eastward we confront the remains of what was, until we destroyed it, one of the world’s great rainforests, while if we face westward we contemplate the open sea, not itself unharmed but still beautiful and carrying with it, as all beauty does, a suggestion of promise.” Robert Adams lives on the west coast of the United States.
On the Edge is on view through January 27, 2008.
Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain
261, Blvd Raspail
Watch a clip from Adams’ Art:21 segment:
See more images from the exhibition here.