Ansel Adams: Distance and Detail
Photographs from the Bank of America Collection
January 3 – March 5, 2011
Leaf, Glacier Bay National Monument, Alaska, from Portfolio Four: What Majestic Word/In Memory of Russell Varian, 1963, gelatin silver print, 7” x 9”. Photograph by Ansel Adams.
©2010 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust
Ansel Adams (1902-1984), photographer, environmentalist, and social activist is recognized as one of America's foremost photographers. His life's work established photography as a truly legitimate art form, inspiring new ways of seeing and communicating. His long career represents a prolific and rich contribution to American art including many hundreds of images that continue to profoundly influence the practice of the art of photography to this day. Adams' view of America, produced in over half a century of imagery, invites us to reexamine our visible world from the most intimate details in nature to the broadest of landscapes. His large encompassing landscapes, for which he is best known, are inspired by the archetypal nineteenth-century idealized panorama, which was a typical genre in early painted and photographic depictions of the American West. Adams was influenced by these examples, but he was also an experimenter and a Modernist, and along with his fellow California photographers, developed a straight and highly formal, sometimes even abstract, approach to his subjects. His close-up, intense studies of isolated natural objects that capture nature's most intimate details were often made on the same day as his more famous dramatic vistas.
Ansel Adams, Distance and Detail, culled from the Bank of America Collection, offers an opportunity to view thirty of Adams’ works including pieces as well known as Moonrise over Hernandez alongside his lesser known studies of architectural subjects such as the Spanish Catholic Missions in Arizona. Together with prints ranging in size from an intimate 4 x 5 inch photograph of Tenaya Lake to the 51 x 39 inch mural print, Aspens, the viewer can observe Adams’ careful attention to clarity and detail across an array of subject matter. These photographs, made between 1931 and 1976, provide an in -depth look at the work of one of America’s best known Modernists and folk heroes.
This exhibition is provided by Bank of America Art in our Communities™ program. As one of the world's largest financial institutions and a major supporter of arts and culture, Bank of America has a vested interest and plays a meaningful role in the international dialogue on cultural understanding.