In this photograph, and in many of the pictures from Adams's series Los Angeles Spring, trees symbolize nature as a whole. Photographed along highways, against cityscapes, and on the fringes of suburbia, they appear out of place, puny, strangled by smog, and yet, as in this work, possess a wiry strength and vitality. Exquisitely printed in rich tonalities, this photograph ironically (and intentionally) harks back to nineteenth-century photography of the American West, which captured the California landscape when it was wild, untouched, and Edenic. Combining tragedy and hope in an object of certain beauty, this poetic work is a compelling expression of the artist's preoccupation with the progressive disappearance of nature.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil on print, verso, BLC: "16/30 // On Signal Hill, Overlooking Long Beach,//California, 1983"; C: "(c) 1986 Robert Adams; signed in pencil on print, verso, BRC: "Robert Adams 1990"
Howard Greenberg Gallery
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 14," September 9, 1996–December 9, 1996.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 30," September 24, 2001–January 20, 2002.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 46," May 8, 2007–August 26, 2007.