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Photographer Robert Adams wins Hasselblad Prize

April 15, 2009 |  7:45 pm


Robert Adams, whose images of the American West have made him an internationally celebrated photographer, just got $61,000 richer.

That's the amount Adams received this week as part of the Hasselblad Prize, one of photography's top honors. Adams accepted the award in a ceremony in San Francisco that was hosted by the Swedish Hasselblad Foundation.

Adams joins an impressive list of winners, including David Goldblatt, Nan Goldin and last year's Graciela Iturbide.

A 90-image exhibition of Adams' photographs was shown at the Getty Center in 2006. On that occasion, a Times reviewer wrote: "Looking at the photographs Adams has made over the past 40 years, it's clear what distresses him: pollution, unchecked urban sprawl, clear-cutting of old-growth forests, overpopulation and every other abuse of the natural landscape."

The review also commented on a photograph that Adams took in 1985 of suburban development in Colorado: "The composition is as beautifully precise as a Mondrian abstraction, but in the context of the suburban housing tract, such order is a symptom of uniformity and sterile efficiency."

You can read more about the 2006 exhibition and hear Adams explain some of his own work at the Getty's excellent Web page devoted to the photographer.

-- David Ng

Photo: Adams' "Suburban Denver, Colorado," from 1973-74. Credit: © Robert Adams