Author: Stephen Shore
Release Date: 2017-05-15
Stephen Shore's Uncommon Places is indisputably a canonic body of work--a touchstone for those interested in photography and the American landscape. Remarkably, despite having been the focus of numerous shows and books, including the eponymous 1982 Aperture classic (expanded and reissued several times), this series of photographs has yet to be explored in its entirety. Over the past five years, Shore has scanned hundreds of negatives shot between 1973 and 1981. In this volume, Aperture has invited an international group of fifteen photographers, curators, authors, and cultural figures to select ten images apiece from this rarely seen cache of images. Each portfolio offers an idiosyncratic and revealing commentary on why this body of work continues to astound; how it has impacted the work of new generations of photography and the medium at large; and proposes new insight on Shore's unique vision of America as transmuted in this totemic series. Texts and image selections by Wes Anderson, Quentin Bajac, David Campany, Paul Graham, Guido Guidi, Takashi Homma, An-My Lee, Michael Lesy, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Francine Prose, Ed Ruscha, Britt Salvesen, Taryn Simon, Thomas Struth, and Lynne Tillman
Originally published in 1982, Stephen Shore's legendary "Uncommon Places" has influenced more than a generation of photographers. Shore was among the first artists to take color beyond the domain of advertising and fashion photography, and his large-format color work on the American vernacular landscape inaugurated a vital photographic tradition. "Uncommon Places: The Complete Works," published by Aperture in 2005, presented a definitive collection of the landmark series, and in the span of a decade has become a contemporary classic. Now, for this lushly produced reissue, the artist has added nearly 20 rediscovered images and a statement explaining what it means to expand a classic series. Like Robert Frank and Walker Evans before him, Shore discovered a hitherto unarticulated vision of America via highway and camera. Approaching his subjects with cool objectivity, Shore retains precise systems of gestures in composition and light through which a hotel bedroom or a building on a side street assumes both an archetypal aura and an ambiguously personal importance. An essay by critic and curator Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen and a conversation with Shore by writer Lynne Tillman examine his methodology and elucidate his roots in Pop and Conceptual art. The texts are illustrated with reproductions from Shore's earlier series "American Surfaces" and "Amarillo: Tall in Texas." At age 14 Stephen Shore (born 1947) had his work purchased by Edward Steichen for The Museum of Modern Art, New York. At 17 Shore was a regular at Andy Warhol's Factory, producing an important photographic document of the scene, and in 1971 at the age of 23 he became the first living photographer since Alfred Stieglitz 40 years earlier to have a one-man show at the Met. He has had numerous one-man shows, among others at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; George Eastman House, Rochester; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and The Art Institute of Chicago. Since 1982 he has been Director of the Photography Program at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.
American Surfaces, Stephen Shore's largely unpublished series of photographs from 1972-3, took documentary photography to a new level. When first exhibited at the Light Gallery in New York this visual diary of Shore's travels across the United States confounded critics. Displayed as hundreds and hundreds of colour photographs, processed simply at Kodak's labs in New Jersey, they were a stark contrast to the formal, black-and-white prints that were recognized as art photography at the time. Despite its unfavourable reviews, the show was bought in its entirety by Weston Naef, then Curator of Photography at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, where 220 of the photographs now reside. American Surfaces has since become the benchmark for documenting our fast-living, consumer-orientated world, a body of work that followed on from Walker Evans and Robert Frank's experiences of crossing the United States and which continues to influence photographers today. This book brings together the largest selection of images yet published from the series and is the first time they have been sequenced in the order in which they were taken. American Surfaces follows Shore's extraordinary journey, travelling first into the deep South before taking Route 66 from Flagstaff to Chicago, and returning home to New York to continue his visual diary in his home city.
Stephen Shore is one of the most important photographers of the twentieth century. A pioneer of colour photography, his photographs of everyday American scenes paved the way for art photographers such as Martin Parr, Nan Goldin and Thomas Struth. In the early 1970s, with his projects American Surfaces and A Road Trip Journal, Shore investigated his interest in keeping visual journals that could arrange ‘snapshots’ in conceptually based sequences. As an extension of the visual journal and intrigued by the creative potential of print-on-demand technology, in 2003 Shore started making his books using Apple’s iPhoto print-on-demand service. Each book recorded his activities during one particular day.
One of the most significant photographers of our time, Stephen Shore has often been considered alongside other artists who rose to prominence in the 1970s by capturing the mundane aspects of American popular culture in straightforward, unglamorous images. But Shore has worked with many forms of photography, switching from cheap automatic cameras to large-format cameras in the 1970s, pioneering the use of colour before returning to black and white in the 1990s, and in the 2000s taking up the opportunities of digital photography, digital printing and social media. Stephen Shore encompasses the entirety of the artist's work of the last five decades, during which he has conducted a continual, restless interrogation of image making, from the gelatin silver prints he made as a teenager to his current engagement with digital platforms. Published to accompany the major exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the book allows for a fuller understanding of Shore's work, and demonstrates his singular vision - defined by an interest in daily life, a taste for serial and often systematic approaches, a strong intellectual underpinning, a restrained style, sly humour and visual casualness - and uncompromising pursuit of photography's possibilities.
The Nature of Photographs is an essential primer of how to look at and understand photographs, by one of the world's most influential photographers, Stephen Shore. In this book, Shore explores ways of understanding photographs from all periods and all types - from iconic images to found photographs, from negatives to digital files. This books serves as an indispensable tool for students, teachers and everyone who wants to take better pictures or learn to look at them in a more informed way.
A powerful and haunting visual record, Stephen Shore's portraits highlight the resilience and hope of Ukraine's Holocaust survivors. Stephen Shore, one of the most influential photographers living today, traveled to the Ukraine in 2012 and again in 2013, just prior to the current political upheaval, to visit 35 survivors, most of whom are women. In the photographs of the survivors and their homes, Shore visually explores their collective experience as seen through quotidian details, and leaves open the question as to how the history of the Holocaust informs the viewer's reception of the portraits. The book's 200 digital color photographs are organized to create intimate portraits of their individual and collective experiences whilst maintaining the unsentimental formal order of his photography. An essay by Jane Kramer, who has written The New Yorker's Letter from Europe since 1981, will situate the survivors and their stories in the historical context of Ukraine's modern history with a particular emphasis in the place of Jews within that history. An important cultural document, Survivors in Ukraine sits between the traditions of the diaristic colour photobook that Shore himself pioneered with Uncommon Places (1982) and American Surfaces (2005), and that of the 'concerned' photographer using the camera as witness to conflict and other historic events.
Evolving from a series of road trips along the Mississippi River, Alec Soth's "Sleeping by the Mississippi captures America's iconic yet oft-neglected "third coast." Soth's richly descriptive, large-format color photographs present an eclectic mix of individuals, landscapes, and interiors. Sensuous in detail and raw in subject, "Sleeping by the Mississippi elicits a consistent mood of loneliness, longing, and reverie." In the book's 46 ruthlessly edited pictures, "writes Anne Wilkes Tucker, "Soth alludes to illness, procreation, race, crime learning art, music, death, religion, redemption, politics, and cheap sex." Like Robert Frank's classic "The Americans, Sleeping by the Mississippi merges a documentary style with a poetic sensibility. The Mississippi is less the subject of the book than its organizing structure. Not bound by a rigid concept or ideology, the series is created out of a quintessentially American spirit of wanderlust.
After the end of World War II, the American road trip began appearing prominently in literature, music, movies, and photography. Many photographers embarked on trips across the U.S. in order to create work, including Robert Frank, whose seminal 1955 road trip resulted in The Americans. However, he was preceded by Edward Weston, who traveled across the country taking pictures to illustrate Walt Whitmans Leaves of Grass; Henri Cartier-Bresson, whose 1947 trip through the American South and into the West was published in the early 1950s in Harpers Bazaar; and Ed Ruscha, whose road trips between Los Angeles and Oklahoma later became Twentysix Gasoline Stations. Hundreds of photographers have continued the tradition of the photographic road trip on down to the present, from Stephen Shore to Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs. The Open Road considers the photographic road trip as a genre in and of itself, and presents the story of photographers for whom the American road is muse. The book features David Campanys introduction to the genre and eighteen chapters presented chronologically, each exploring one American road trip in depth through a portfolio of images and informative texts, highlighting some of the most important bodies of work made on the road from The Americans to present day.
Warhol's Factory as seen through the lens of a young Shore, providing an insider view of this extraordinary moment and place Stephen Shore was 17 years old when he began hanging out at The Factory - Andy Warhol's legendary studio in Manhattan. Between 1965 and 1967, Shore spent nearly every day there, taking pictures of its diverse cast of characters, from musicians to actors, artists to writers, and including Edie Sedgwick, Lou Reed, and Nico - not to mention Warhol himself. This book presents a personal selection of photographs from Shore’s collection, providing an insider's view of this extraordinary moment and place, as seen through the eyes of one of photography's most beloved practitioners.