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Expressway near Colton, California

A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.


1983, printed 1986


Robert Adams
American, born 1937

About this artwork

In the early 1960s Robert Adams returned to Colorado, where he had spent part of his childhood, and embarked on a teaching career. Disturbed by the suburbanized landscape he discovered and inspired by the 19th-century work of expeditionary photographer Timothy O’Sullivan, he took up photography to confront the changes wrought on the natural environment of his youth. In 1975 Adams was included in New Topographics, a landmark exhibition of ten photographers who observed the postwar built environment with deadpan criticism. Adams has continued ever since to photograph the American West, documenting the ways in which humans and the unbuilt landscape intersect. Writing about this work—part of a series titled Los Angeles Spring—Adams lamented, “Whether those trees that stand are reassuring is a question for a lifetime. All that is clear is the perfection of what we were given, the unworthiness of our response, and the certainty … that we are judged. ”


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Photography and Media


Robert Adams


Expressway near Colton, California


United States (Artist's nationality)


Made 1983


Gelatin silver print


Unmarked recto; inscribed verso, lower left, in graphite: "Expressway near Colton, California"; stamped and inscribed verso, lower center, in black ink and graphite: "Copyright © [stamped in black ink] 1986 [inscribed in graphite] by Robert Adams [stamped in black ink]; signed and inscribed verso, lower left, in graphite: "Robert Adams 1983"


Image: 22.8 × 28.5 cm (9 × 11 1/4 in.); Paper: 27.7 × 35.4 cm (10 15/16 × 13 15/16 in.)

Credit Line

The Art Institute of Chicago Exhibition Funds

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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