What Can We Believe Where?: Photographs of the American West


Robert Adams

Since taking up photography in the mid-1960s, Robert Adams (born 1937) has quietly become one of the most influential chroniclers of the evolving American landscape. Carefully edited by Adams from a remarkable body of work that spans over four decades, What Can We Believe Where?: Photographs of the American West presents a narrative sequence of more than 100 tritone images that reveals a steadfast concern for mankind’s increasingly tragic relationship with the natural world. Adams’s understated yet arresting pictures of the vast Colorado plains, the rapid suburbanization of the Denver and Colorado Springs areas, and the ecological devastation of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States register with subtle precision the complex and often fragile beauty of the scenes they depict.

The most accessible collection of Adams’s work to date, this compact and thought-provoking volume is an essential addition to the bookshelves of students, photographers, and anyone interested in the recent history of the American West and its wider implications.


2011 Best Photography Books of the Year, Time magazine and Fotografibloggen

This exquisite little catalogue is a survey of the work of the landscape photographer… . This volume is printed by the best printer in the United States and features a selection of images, some previously unknown, chosen by the master himself. This and the low price make the book a veritable treat. —Foam Photography Magazine

These are marvelous photographs … important photographs … [which] contain both tragedy and hope, the particularities of specific places along with the possibilities of transformation, within single images. —Brent Aldrich, Englewood Review of Books

For Adams aficionados this catalogue will be of primary interest in bringing together the artist’s own edited highlights from 45 years of collecting evidence. For those less familiar with the work it provides a thought-provoking sampling point for many large-scale projects which produced books important in their own right. —AG Magazine

[Adams is] a quiet giant in the photography world… . Serially and simultaneously, his pictures convey the glorious and the banal, invoking reverence, shame, and wonder. —Leah Ollman, Art in America