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Robert Adams: Gone? Colorado in the 1980s

In middle age, I revisited a number of marginal but beautiful landscapes that I had taken for granted when I was a boy. As I walked through them I sometimes asked myself whether in the coming years they would survive overpopulation, corporate capitalism, and new technology.  On those days when I was lucky, however, my questions fell away into the quiet and the light.—Robert Adams

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to announce Gone? Colorado in the 1980s,  an exhibition of photographs made in Colorado in the mid-1980s. The subject of a new book published by Steidl, the photographs will be on view from March 11 to April 17, 2010.

After an extended stay in southern California where Adams worked with a 4×5” view camera, he returned to his well-loved Colorado in 1984. Equipped with a new 28mm lens for his Nikon, Adams discovered unexpected possibilities afforded by the hand-held camera and wide-angle lens.

Wandering the Colorado plains, the mountains west of Denver, and the San Luis Valley abutting the Mexican border, Gone? Colorado in the 1980s is as much a walking meditation as a photographic study. Light’s multifarious manifestations sustain this work, saturating a field, glistening through trees. Here, Adams found a buoyancy of spirit that complements his better-known work addressing urban growth.

In 2009, Adams was the recipient of the prestigious Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. His numerous monographs include The New West, From the Missouri West, Los Angeles Spring, To Make It Home, Listening to the River, West From the Columbia, California, and Turning Back. Later this year, his life’s work will be the subject of a major retrospective and a multi-volume monograph organized by the Yale University Art Gallery.

It has been many years now since I left Colorado, and occasionally friends there tell me of what has been lost. We share our griefs, but not infrequently the conversation turns to recollecting scarcely believable glories—near miracles—and we pledge to look again.—Robert Adams