The New West.
Photographs by Robert Adams. Foreword by John Szarkowski.
Aperture, New York, 2008. 136 pp., 56 duotone illustrations, 10x9".
Originally published in 1974, Robert Adams’ The New West signaled
a paradigm shift in the photographic representation of American
landscapes. Foregoing photography’s traditional role of romanticizing
the western landscape, Adams focused instead on the construction
of tract and mobile homes, subdivisions, shopping centers
and urban sprawl in the suburbs of Colorado Springs and the
Denver area. Adams transmuted these zones with his minimalist
vision of their austerity; as he has noted,“no place is boring, if
you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed
film.” Objective and direct, Adams’ photographs, rendered in his
signature middle-gray scale, unsentimentally depict a despoiled
landscape washed in the intense Colorado sunlight. Today The
New West stands alongside Walker Evans’ American Photographs,
Robert Frank’s The Americans and Stephen Shore’s Uncommon
Places in the pantheon of landmark projects on American culture
and society. This second reissue of the classic publication has been
recreated from Adams’ original prints, and will be released ahead
of a major traveling exhibition that will launch in 2010. Foreword
by John Szarkowski.
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