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Perfect Places, Perfect Company.
Photographs by Robert Adams. Edited by Joshua Chuang.
Steidl, Gottingen, Germany, 2016. 104 pp., 55 black-and-white illustrations, 10¼x12½".

Publisher's Description

Reviewed on photo-eye Blog by Karen Jenkins.

Perfect Places, Perfect Company is a two-volume reworking of a series of photographs that Robert Adams (born 1937) made in the mid-1980s at Colorado’s Pawnee National Grassland. First published in 1988 under the title Perfect Times, Perfect Places, these photographs powerfully convey the deep sensory pleasure of walking in vast, open spaces. With Kerstin, his wife, and Sally, their dog, Robert Adams would drive out to the reserve to experience silence, stillness and affection; his walking companions occasionally appear in the frame, set against the Grassland’s scrubby ground and infinite horizons.

Although he is perhaps best known for picturing a damaged or modified American geography in publications such as The New West (1974) and From the Missouri West (1980), here Adams has recorded scenes that are flawless, efficiently implying the necessity of maintaining and fighting for these spaces. A New York Times article about the photographer published in 1989 immediately comprehended the stakes of Adams’ project: “Robert Adams’ pictures are not designed to be overtly political, but like any deeply felt images they are capable of reorganizing the way we perceive the world.” With Perfect Places, Perfect Company, Adams shows us what we stand to lose.

This new revised edition is published in a two volume set.


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