Robert Adams - American Silence: The Photographs of Robert Adams


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In this expansive monograph, Robert Adams’s compelling and provocative photographs explore the profound questions of our responsibility to the land and the moral dilemmas of progress.

Working in Colorado, California, and Oregon from 1965 to 2015, Adams photographed suburban sprawl, strip malls, highways, homes, and the land itself, seeking to reveal both the ravages we have inflicted on the land and its underlying, enduring beauty. His photographs of the western American landscape are imbued with a sense of the sacred. Adams transforms “the silence of light” he sees on the prairie, in the woods, and by the ocean into pictures that not only capture that beauty but can also question our own silent complicity in its desecration by consumerism, industrialization, and the lack of environmental stewardship. This substantial body of work—passionate but restrained, respectful but outraged—is united by the reverential way Adams looks at the world around him, and the almost palpable silence that permeates his art.

Copublished by the National Gallery of Art and Aperture