Robert Adams: The Place We Live, a Retrospective Selection of Photographs

I thought i’d add a few words and many images about a couple of exhibitions i saw in Madrid a few weeks ago. Just like Anonymization, these two are photo exhibitions. If it weren’t for the fact that exhibitions are planned years in advance, I’d be wondering whether the current crisis is the reason why Madrid has so many photo shows right now. They are easier/cheaper to ship, install, insure? Maybe?

Anyway, let’s kick off with Robert Adams: The Place We Live, a Retrospective Selection of Photographs at the Reina Sofia because it is simply stunning.

Since the 1960s, Robert Adams has been documenting the landscape of the American West. Lonely roads, small town lights, deforested woods, the Pacific, the great plains, the suburban residential estates, the truck stops and the shopping malls. The paradises lost and the ones about to be built.

For a European like me, there’s something extremely exotic about his images. It’s the Colorado i see in old Hollywood movies. Yet, the urban development and the over-exploitation of natural resources are realities we are all familiar with.

0fairrt_adams_06-sm.jpgRobert Adams, Longmont, Colorado, from the series ‘Summer Nights’, about 1982 (printed 1989)

0burning_oil_sludge-web.jpgRobert Adams, Burning oil sludge, north of Denver, Colorado, 1973-1974

0weregladyourehere.jpgRobert Adams, Longmont, Colorado, 1973-1974

0a11denverart02_0.jpgRobert Adams, Santa Ana Wash, Redlands, California, 1983, printed 1991

0a1inanewsubdivisionerart03.jpgRobert Adams, In a New Subdivision, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1969

0coloradosprings690ecbbc.jpgColorado Springs, Colorado, 1969

0BARNNadams-photo-005.jpgRobert Adams, Frame for a Tract House, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1969

0denver-rueweb.jpgRobert Adams, Alameda Avenue, Denver, 1970

0pikespeak1027.jpg Robert Adams, Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, 1969

0lakewood-colo-robert-adams-web.jpgRobert Adams, Lakewood, Colorado, 1968-1971

0treet_adams_10-sm.jpgRobert Adams, Sitka spruce, Cape Blanco State Park, Curry County, Oregon, 1999-2000

Robert Adams: The Place We Live, a Retrospective Selection of Photographs is at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid until 20 may 2013.

The other retrospective i wanted to mention is dedicated to the Galician photographer Virxilio Vieitez.

Virxilio Vieitez (Pontevedra, 1930-2008), one of the most important photographers of Spain’s photographic history, carried out commissioned works, particularly intended for Galicians who had emigrated to Argentina, Mexico and Venezuela and wished to keep a visual record of their families in Galicia.

Almost no one ever smiles in those photos. Besides, people often chose to pose with some atypical companions: a radio, a goat, a couple of potted flowers.

0vieilleradio-vieitez-12.jpgDorotea do Cará, Soutelo de Montes, 1960-61

0i0San_Marcos.jpgSan Marcos, 1962


Everyone however is impeccably dressed.

0comunion7_Virxilio-Vieitez.jpgPili a perruqueira [Pili the Hairdresser] Cerdedo, 1974

0marilena Vieitez_1.jpg‘Changüí’, Marilena Soutelo de Montes, 1964

Special mention to the Pirelli girls who deserves to feature on calendars:


For some very odd reason, this sissy lady made me think of myself…

0a8marriag4f79d_z.jpg0boucher-vieitez-15.jpgCarnicería ‘L. Monso’, Cerdedo, 1967

0u2littlekids_Vieitez_88.jpgSpain, Galicia, 1955-1965

A few views from the exhibition space:


The Virxilio Vieitez retrospective is at Espacio Fundación Telefónica in Madrid until 19 May 2013.