Adam‚Äôs refined black-and-white photographs document scenes of the American West over the past four decades, revealing the impact of human activity on the last vestiges of wilderness and open space continues in this new show, entitled Questions for an Overcast Day. The exhibition displays a series of 33 photographs of young alder trees growing along the Oregon coastline, near the artist’s home. The series begins by focusing on the branches of the trees and, progressing from one image to the next, narrows its focus, culminating with several images of a single leaf.
The leaves on the trees appear perforated, the precise cause of which is unknown. The artist likens the particular pattern of erosion on each leaf to hieroglyphics, reading in them a unique “calligraphy of disaster.” About them, Adams writes:
“What would account for the condition of the leaves ‚Äì
drought, insects, rocky ground, disease, herbicide, wind?Are the leaves beautiful?”
Robert Adams: Questions for an Overcast Day will be on view at Matthew Marks Gallery through October 27, 2007.