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Vancouver Art Gallery Presents Robert Adams: The Place We Live, A Retrospective Selection of Photographs

The Vancouver Art Gallery presents Robert Adams: The Place We Live, A Retrospective Selection of Photographs, on view through January 16, 2011.

Over the past four decades photographer Robert Adams has come to be widely regarded as one of the most original and significant chroniclers of the western American landscape.

The first large-scale exhibition of Adams’ work to be presented in Canada, The Place We Live traces his longstanding engagement with the degradation of the environment in the face of suburban development. The exhibition includes more than 300 photographs representing each of Adams’ major projects, from his austere photographs of the Colorado prairie that pay homage to earlier inhabitants, to his unflinching images of the land, workplaces, shopping centres and homes around Denver, as well as recent images of the remains of the great rainforest near his present home in the American Pacific Northwest.

Spare and dispassionate, yet rich with formal invention, Adams’ remarkable images resist simplification of subjects both ordinary and grand, balancing the complexities and contradictions found in modern life. Seen as a whole, the exhibition clearly reveals an approach to art-making that on the one hand seeks to bear witness to humanity’s tenuous relationship with the natural world and, on the other, to celebrate the unexpected sublimity that persists in the face of despoliation.

The reach of Adams’ work has been felt primarily through his publications, which include more than 30 monographs. Adams’ books are an integral component of the exhibition and provide the viewer with the opportunity to further consider the manner in which he has addressed the fear, curiosity and inspiration the American landscape has engendered throughout his career. The international tour of this exhibition is being launched at the Vancouver Art Gallery and is accompanied by a catalogue and a three-volume, hard cover book.

The exhibition and publications are organized by Joshua Chuang, Assistant Curator of Photographs, and Jock Reynolds, the Henry J. Heinz II Director, Yale University Art Gallery. Made possible by Yale alumni and friends: Helen D. Buchanan; Allan K. Chasanoff; Lara Rubin Constable and the Reed Foundation; Nathaniel W. Gibbons; Betsy and Frank Karel; Saundra B. Lane; Melanie and Rick Mayer and the MFUNd; Mr. and Mrs. Alexander K. McLanahan; Ms. Eliot Nolen and Mr. Timothy P. Bradley; Risher Randall, Sr.; Mary Jo and Ted P. Shen; Jane P. Watkins; the Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund; and an endowment created with a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The acquisition of Robert Adams’s master prints was made possible through a gift from Saundra B. Lane, a grant from the Trellis Fund, and the Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund. In Vancouver this project is supported by Mark McCain and Caro Macdonald/Eye and I.

Image: Robert Adams Longmont, Colorado, 1979 gelatin silver print Yale University Art Gallery. Purchased with a gift from Saundra B. Lane, a grant from Trellis Fund, and the Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund

Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V6Z 2H7

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