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Robert Adams: Consolations: Prairie, Forest, Sea

Mystery in this landscape is a certainty, an eloquent one. There is everywhere silence—a silence in thunder, in wind, in the call of doves, even a silence in the closing of a pickup door. If you are crossing the plains, leave the interstate and find a back road on which to walk; listen. —Robert Adams, 1978

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of three important bodies of work by Robert Adams. Adams has brought together these bodies of work, comprising approximately seventy-five photographs spanning four decades, specifically for this exhibition and given them the overarching title Consolations: Prairie, Forest, Sea.

In Prairie, a group of photographs first seen in a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1978, Adams looks at the vast stretches of grassy flatland that extend eastward from the Rocky Mountains, and the small towns that punctuate the expanse.

In a selection of pictures from West from the Columbia, he concentrates on the charged space where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. He has written, “Of all the sacred places on the coast, none is more comforting than where rivers join the sea.”

The most recent photographs in the exhibition, dating from 2004, are Questions for an Overcast Day, a mysterious body of work that is an open-ended meditation on leaves and the solace found in forests. Through his thoughtful and socially concerned photographic practice, which includes extensive writings, Adams has had an enormous influence on several generations of artists.

Robert Adams (b. 1937) has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Deutsche Börse Photo-graphy Prize and the prestigious Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. His life’s work is currently the subject of a major traveling retrospective that will visit six venues throughout North America and Europe, accompanied by a three-volume monograph, all organized by the Yale University Art Gallery. His numerous monographs include The New West, Denver, Prairie, What We Bought, From the Missouri West, California, Turning Back, and Summer Nights, Walking.