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Robert Adams
Landscape with Path: Nebraska State Highway 2

August 1 – 31, 2011
Billboard next to the High Line at 18th Street and 10th Avenue

Robert Adams’ Nebraska State Highway 2, Box Butte County is the second installment in Landscape with Path, a series of photographs selected by photographer Joel Sternfeld. This series celebrates the High Line’s dual nature as an urban walkway and landscape promenade, and brings the work of three eminent photographers to park visitors on a grand scale. Joel Sternfeld was invited by Friends of the High Line to serve as the guest curator of this project. He began the series with one of his own images of the High Line, High Line, A Railroad Artifact, 30th St, May 2000, which helped raise public awareness about the elevated park.

Adams has been photographing the transforming landscape of the American West for almost fifty years. Adams’s photographs emphasize the redemptive beauty of nature in the face of humans’ widespread and unremitting use of the land and focus on the intersection between the human and natural worlds. Early in his career he wrote, “The job of the photographer is not to record indisputable fact but to try to be coherent about intuition and hope.”

Adams’ billboard stands in direct contrast to the pedestrians, bikes, and vehicles traveling along 10th Avenue. The image shows a quiet country road–devoid of cars or any other human presence–where the gathering of cottonwood leaves in the foreground is the sole activity. Adams shot this photograph in 1978 as part of a survey to discover how the grand landscapes of the western United States had been shaped, in ways both subtle and dramatic, by human development. A sequence of pictures from this series was published in his 1980 book, “From the Missouri West.”

(1,3) Photo courtesy Friends of the High Line; (2) Photo by Joan Garvin; (4) Photo by Austin Kennedy. 

Robert Adams

Robert Adams (b. 1937, New Jersey) lives and works in Astoria, Oregon. The artist’s most recent retrospective, The Place We Live, a Retrospective Selection of Photographs, will be shown at eight major international museums through 2014 including the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada; Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Yale Art Gallery, New Haven; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Josef Albers Museum Quadrat, Germany; Jeu de Paume, Paris; and the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland. Other recent solo exhibitions include Matthew Marks Gallery, New York (2012); Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco (2011); the Paul J. Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2006); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2005); the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo (2001); and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (1989), among many others.

Joel Sternfeld (b. 1944, New York) lives and works in New York City. Known for his photographs of people and the American landscape, Sternfeld has had solo exhibitions of his work in New York, Rome, Berlin, Lisbon, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, among other cities. Recent solo exhibitions include Luhring Augustine, New York (2012); the Albertina Museum, Vienna (2012); Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany (2011); and the Fotofrafiemuseum Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2011). He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Citigroup Photography Prize (2004); the Prix de Rome (1990-91); Shifting Foundation Fellowship (1987-88); Grand Prize Winner, Higashikawa Festival of Photography, Japan (1985); Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1978, 1982); and the National Endowment for the Arts Photographers Fellowship (1980).


This High Line Art Commissions are presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art Commissions are made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr. This program is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State's 62 counties. In-kind sponsorship for this series is provided by Edison Properties.

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