The open American West is nearly gone. The New West is a photographic essay about what came to fill it—freeways, tract homes, low-rise business buildings and signs.
In five sequences of pictures taken along the front wall of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Robert Adams has documented a representative sampling of the whole suburban Southwest. These views have a double power. At first they shock; normally we try to forget the commercial squalor they depict. Slowly, however, they reveal aspects of the geography—the shape of the land itself, for example—that are beyond man’s harm. Adams has written that “all land, no matter what has happened to it, has over it a grace, an absolutely persistent beauty,” and his photographs show this.
Originally published in 1974, The New West is now regarded as a classic, standing alongside Walker Evans’s American Photographs and Robert Frank’s The Americans in the pantheon of landmark volumes of photography exploring American culture and society. This new edition marks the book’s fortieth anniversary and the beginning of a long-term commitment by Steidl to publish the full extent Robert Adams’s remarkable body of work.
Robert Adams, born in 1937 in New Jersey, first came to prominence in the early 1970s and has photographed the geography of the American West for over forty years. His work has been shown widely both in Europe and the United States, including in the landmark 1975 exhibition “New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape”. His more than forty publications include The New West, What We Bought, Our Lives and Our Children, and Turning Back. Robert Adams is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Spectrum International Prize for Photography, the Hasselblad Award and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. Steidl has published Gone? (2010), Tree Line (2010) and The Place We Live (2013).
Robert Adams The New West
Book design: Paul Weaver 136 pages 24.8 x 22.5 cm / 9.75 x 8.75 in.