Robert Adams’ lifelong love and concern for the landscape, along with our social uses and abuses of it, have been evident from the outset of his career. The northern Oregon coast has been a favored landscape for Adams as early as 1961, the year after he married and spent a summer there. Adams and his wife, Kerstin, moved to the Pacific Northwest from Colorado in 1997, settling in the coastal town of Astoria, Oregon which holds a commanding view of the mouth of the majestic Columbia River as it spills into the Pacific Ocean.
In 2005, a substantial volume of photographs about the clear-cutting of the ancient forests of the Northwest was published under the title Turning Back, with photographs dating from 1999-2003. Adams’ powerful visual language is heightened by his unflinching presentation of the painful facts of what he views as an environmental catastrophe.
The present lot, printed by the artist on a matte surface graded sheet typical of this period, Near Arch Cape is a study made years earlier, during his occasional visits to the area. John Szarkowski included two images made during the same year as this lot in his exhibition and book titled, Mirrors and Windows: American Photography since 1960. Outlined with a rapidograph pen of the sort often used by architects, something Adams did infrequently during this period of his career, this oversized print is mounted and inscribed, 'for Dad, 1976'.