Robert Adams: A Road Through Shore Pine Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

A Road Through Shore Pine focuses on a new body of work by Robert Adams, a series of 18 never-before-seen photographs made in Nehalem Bay State Park, Oregon, in the autumn of 2013, which will be presented alongside Robert Adams: The Complete Books, 1970–2014. This is to be a survey of the artist’s deep involvement with the book form over a span of almost 45 years.

The 11 × 14-inch prints of A Road Through Shore Pine take the audience on a contemplative journey by car and foot along an isolated, tree-bordered road to the sea. Adam’s work is suggestive of life’s most meaningful journeys, especially its final ones, and upon this particular journey the artist comments: “The road is one that my family travelled often and fondly. Many of its members are gone now, and Kerstin and I visit the road for the example of the trees.”

For this series, Adams has returned to the use of a medium-format camera, which allows for an intense amount of detail. Through experience gathered over more than four decades, Adams’s trees, especially the tips of their leaves, are etched with singular sensitivity to the subtleties and meanings of light. These photographs were previously stored in an archival print box, inscribed by Adams with a line from the journal of the Greek poet George Seferis, “A marvelous road, enough to make you weep; pine trees, pine trees…”

Meanwhile, Robert Adams: The Complete Books, 1970–2014, will present more than 60 of the artist’s influential monographs, including The New West, Denver, Prairie, From the Missouri West, Summer Nights, Los Angeles Spring, West From the Columbia, What We Bought, and the three-volume compendium, The Place We Live. Individual photographs taken from the books will also be on view and will sketch a mini-retrospective of Robert Adams’s work from its beginnings to the present.

Robert Adams: A Road Through Shore Pine, Fraenkel Gallery, 49 Geary St #450, San Francisco, CA 94108, United States. Until 15 November 2014.

1. Robert Adams, Nehalem Spit, Oregon, (2013) Courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery.

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