“THE MOST LITERATE AND ELOQUENT PHOTOGRAPHER OF OUR TIME”: FIRST EDITION OF WHAT WE BOUGHT, SIGNED BY ROBERT ADAMS
ADAMS, Robert. What We Bought: The New World. Scenes from the Denver Metropolitan Area 1970-1974. (Hannover, Germany): Stiftung Niedersachsen, (1995). Oblong quarto, original burgundy cloth, original photographic dust jacket. $1100.
First edition, signed by Adams on the title page, with 193 duotone photographic plates.
Robert Adams stands at the forefront of the “New Topographers,” photographers seeking to “subvert the traditional romantic landscape genre” and its mythology of the American West (Roth, 226). Adams’ images here record, in his words, “what we paid, and what we could not buy. They document a separation from ourselves.” “The most literate and eloquent photographer of our time… [Adams refuses] to accept a simplistic view of the West as either a pristine, prelapsarian collection of natural wonders… or as land ripe for unlimited economic development” (New York Times). MoMA curator John Szarkowski particularly praises Adams for sustaining a visual vernacular that is “civilized, temperate and exact, eschewing hyperbole, theatrical gesture, moral postures and expressivo effects generally” (Roth, 226). Text in English and German. Open Book, 364.
A exceptionally fine copy, scarce signed.