National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA
West Building, Ground Floor, Galleries 23-29 
29 May - 2 Oct 2022
For 50 years, Robert Adams (b. 1937) has made compelling, provocative, and highly influential photographs that show us the wonder and fragility of the American landscape, its inherent beauty, and the inadequacy of our response to it. This exhibition explores the reverential way he looks at the world around him and the almost palpable silence of his work.

Many of these photographs of the American West capture the sense of peace and harmony that the beauty of nature can instill in us—“the silence of light,” as he calls it, that he sees on the prairie, in the woods, and by the ocean. Other pictures question our silent complicity in the desecration of that beauty by consumerism, industrialization, and lack of environmental stewardship. Divided into three sections—The Gift, Our Response, and Tenancy—the exhibition features some 175 works from the artist’s most important projects and includes pictures of suburban sprawl, strip malls, highways, homes, and stores, as well as rivers, skies, the prairie, and the ocean.

While these photographs lament the ravages that have been inflicted on the land, they also pay homage to what remains.


Sunlit Apocalypse : Le monde en péril de Robert Adams,, 18 Jul 2022.

Sunlit Apocalypse: The Imperiled World of Robert Adams, New York Times, Essay by Arthur Lubow, 13 Jul 2022.