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An image from “No Small Journeys”
Robert Adams/Matthew Marks Gallery
An image from “No Small Journeys”

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Robert Adams
Matthew Marks
523 West 24th Street
Through December 20

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Last chance to catch one of the year's great shows—a sequence of 52 small, vintage black-and-white photographs by Robert Adams called "No Small Journeys: Across Shopping Center Parking Lots, Down City Streets." Like many of Adams's photos from the '70s, this group was made in and around Denver. Having recorded tract homes, strip malls, and the raw earth of the New West, Adams turned his attention to people—to women, couples, and young families heading into or trailing out of some supermarket or convenience store. As simple as snapshots but never intrusive, the pictures feel leisurely and exceptionally tender. If Adams's previous work was blunt and hard-boiled, these are mash notes to the common man. In the catalog Adams asks, "If we come upon innocence, beauty, caring, joy, or courage, even in lost places, are we not obliged to acknowledge them in defiance of ironists?" His answer could not be simpler or more convincing.

 
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