Mark Steinmetz’s Favorite Book from 2021

A Parallel World by Robert Adams.   Published by Fraenkel Gallery.

Now in his early 80s, Robert Adams has been spending much of the past decade wandering the bright Oregon shoreline and walking paths in dark woods (the dark foliage often slashed by patches of disorienting light). His recent photography has been relaxed and audacious, and in A Parallel World, Adams’ eye seems to be reaching for something that’s beyond the horizon. In this airy, expansive world, fallen leaves and pieces of driftwood are scattered about; the sky may be having hallucinations. At times reminiscent of Atget at Sceaux, and Stieglitz at Lake George, Adams demonstrates a freedom and wildness that is the province of older artists who have played their cards a certain way (from Yeats, on old age in The Tower: Never had I more/ Excited, passionate, fantastical/ Imagination, nor an ear and eye/ That more expected the impossible).

Mark Steinmetz is a photographer who lives and works in Athens, Georgia. ATL (Nazraeli) and Rivers & Towns (Stanley/Barker) will be released in early 2022.