Robert Adams: Summer Nights, Walking

In this exquisitely produced book, Robert Adams revisits the classic collection of nocturnal landscapes that he began making in the mid–1970s near his former home in Longmont, Colorado. Originally published by Aperture in 1985 as Summer Nights, this new edition has been carefully re-edited and re-sequenced by the photographer, who has added thirty-nine previously unpublished images. The book is re-designed by revered book designer Katy Homans and printed as dry-trap tritone on uncoated paper by Meridian Printing. It is truly an “objet d’art” for the avid book collector.

Illuminated by moonlight and streetlamp, the houses, roads, sidewalks, and fields in Summer Nights, Walking (Aperture/YUAG, September 2009) retain the wonder and stillness of the original edition, while adopting the artist’s intention of a dreamy fluidity, befitting his nighttime perambulations. The extraordinary care taken with the new reproductions also registers Adams’s attention to the subtleties of the night, and conveys his appeal to look again at places we might have dismissed as uninteresting. Adams observes, “What attracted me to the subjects at a new hour was the discovery then of a neglected peace.”

By virtue of the subtlety and stillness that infuses this classic body of work, Summer Nights, Walking offers a reason to feel, once more, a regard for the quotidian American landscape that Adams reveals as still beautiful despite humanity’s intrusion. Summer Nights, Walking was co-published with the Yale University Art Gallery, and was released in advance of a major Robert Adams retrospective show in 2010, organized by Yale University Art Gallery, which traveled to Vancouver Art Gallery, Denver Art Museum, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, concluding in New Haven, Connecticut.—the publisher