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Robert Adams


September 8 - October 21, 2017
523 W 24 Street

Press Release

Matthew Marks is pleased to announce Robert Adams: Trees, the next exhibition in his gallery at 523 West 24th Street. Featuring more than thirty gelatin silver prints made between 1968 and 2014, the exhibition is the first to examine this principal subject in the artist’s work.

For over fifty years Robert Adams has photographed the changing landscape of the American West. Human development’s impact on the land has been his primary focus, but so too has the region’s sublime natural beauty. For Adams, trees have always played a central role in both sides of this story, from clear-cut stumps on a logged mountainside to centuries-old Sitka spruces in the coastal rainforest.

Each photograph in the exhibition is a product of the artist’s sustained attentiveness to a specific setting. The locations of his photographs include Colorado, his home for many years; Utah; California; Washington; and Oregon, where he now lives. As Adams said in a 1994 interview, “What I'm after are characteristic views, and I can't know if a view is characteristic until I've seen a place again and again, through all kinds of hours and seasons.”

The exhibition features photographs of iconic American trees as well as non-native species that have become an integral part of our landscape. Several prints focus on rows of eucalyptus, a species first introduced to California from Australia in the nineteenth century. Planted as windbreaks for the region’s citrus orchards, they are seen towering above abandoned farmland soon to be enveloped by suburban sprawl.

For Adams, trees combine the noble stillness of landscape with an almost human vitality. In this sense they have a unique power to provoke the conscience and stir the imagination. “The example of trees,” Adams has said, “does suggest a harmony for which it seems right to dream.”

Robert Adams (b. 1937) has received fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as numerous awards, including the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize and the Hasselblad Award. His 2010–14 retrospective The Place We Live, organized by the Yale University Art Gallery, traveled to eight museums around the world, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, and the Jeu de Paume, Paris.

Robert Adams: Trees is on view at 523 West 24th Street from September 8 to October 21, 2017, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

For additional information, please contact Jeffrey Peabody at 212-243-0200 or

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