At the age of 15 Robert Adams (Orange, New Jersey, 1937) moved with his family to Denver, Colorado. In 1962, after receiving his doctorate at the University of Southern California, he returned to Colorado where he worked as a professor of English. Concerned about the rapid transformation of suburban areas that he encountered upon his return to the region, Adams began to photograph the changes in the landscape, focusing on the appearance of malls, gas stations, and the tentacle-like expansion of the network of highways. His photographs depicting this expansion into wild land formed his first series, Colorado Springs. Subsequently, The New West and What We Bought, both from 1974, cemented his fame. Furthermore, Adams participated in the paradigmatic collective exhibition New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape, which signified a turning point for North American landscape photography. His work is, above all else, a chronicle of the transformations that occurred in the North American west, a lucid testimony of the excess of contemporary society. Since 1997 Robert Adams has lived in Oregon, whose landscape has been the protagonist of his work for the past 20 years.
His photographs have been the subject of important solo exhibitions at MoMA in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. He has received numerous awards including the Spectrum International Prize for Photography in 1995, the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize in 2006, and the Hasselblad Award in 2009.