Stephen Shore (American, b. 1947) is a pioneer of color and vernacular photography. With a small number of contemporaries, he championed the elevation of color photography as art and redefined the documentary tradition in American photography. Shore’s vision of the ordinary world in full color is now so pervasive that its monumental influences are often taken for granted as inherent properties of photography. In particular, Andreas Gursky and Thomas Struth have acknowledged his work as inspiration.
Shore grew up in New York City with early exposure to the medium of photography and emerging artistic practices. At the age of six, he received a darkroom kit, teaching himself the art as he grew up. In his teens, Shore became a frequent visitor and photographer of Andy Warhol’s studio The Factory. There, the Pop concepts he encountered informed his interested in subjects that the conventional art world conventionally snubbed, including mundane objects, daily rituals, and commercial visual culture. It was also at this time that Shore began pursuing color photography, a technique that was entirely novel in the art world and denigrated as a commercial form acceptable only for amateur and advertising use. He was one of the first to recognize and advocate its value.
In the 1970s and ‘80s, Shore embarked on a series of coast-to-coast road trips through the United States to document the modern American landscape. Looking back to the traditions of masters Walker Evans, Robert Frank, and Garry Winogrand, he adopted straightforward perspectives and attention to formal composition as he visually catalogued the spirit of modern America. The resulting series, American Surfaces (1972) and Uncommon Places (1973-1982), established Shore’s mastery of hitherto unexplored directions in color and subject matter and are seminal contributions to the history of photography.
Shore began his career at a young age. While he was 14, the Museum of Modern Art acquired his prints under the leadership of Edward Steichen. In 1971, he earned the distinction of becoming the first living photographer since Alfred Stieglitz to receive a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. More than 25 books have been published of his photographs, including Uncommon Places: The Complete Works; American Surfaces; and Stephen Shore, published by the Museum of Modern Art to accompany the artist's major retrospective through May 2018. Exhibitions of his work have been hosted at the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; International Center of Photography, NY; Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf; and Hammer Museum, CA. His work is held in major collections, including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. The artist lives in Tivoli, New York.
This year’s Photo London’s Master of Photography talks to fellow US artist Alec Soth (who also takes his portrait)
Stephen Shore is the Photo London 2019 Master of Photography; a special presentation of his work is at the Fair at Somerset House, May 16-19; photolondon.org.
Stephen Shore will premiere his new work at the photo fair, which will take place from 16-19 May and also feature work by Vivian Maier, nearly 100 galleries, and a giant egg sculpture. Photo London is back at Somerset House this May for its fifth instalment, with a special exhibition of new and unseen work by this year’s Master of Photography, Stephen Shore, plus Vivian Maier, Roger Fenton, Eamonn Doyle, almost 100 galleries from 21 different countries, and a giant egg sculpture. Known for his pioneering use of colour photography, Shore’s newest body of work, Details, will be shown for the first time in the UK at the fair, as well as a series of 60 small photographs titled Los Angeles, taken through a single day in the city in 1969. “We are honoured to present Stephen Shore as our 2019 Master of Photography,” said Photo London’s founding directors Michael Benson and Fariba Farshad. “As his recent retrospective at MOMA (New York) admirably demonstrated, Stephen is a truly pioneering photographer who has consistently pushed the boundaries of image making throughout a long and successful career.”
Edwynn Houk Gallery is hosting an exhibition “Stephen Shore: Uncommon Places, Vintage Prints” at the gallery’s New York location.
The exhibition brings together a selection of vintage prints from the landmark series “Uncommon Places” by one of the pioneers of the New American Color Photography- American artist Stephen Shore (b.1947). As one of the first practitioners to use color, the artist, along with a small number of his contemporaries, such as William Eggleston and Joel Meyerowitz, shattered the boundaries of photography, which fuelled a widespread recognition and appreciation of color photography as art. First published as a monograph in 1982, the images from his “Uncommon Places” articulate a vision of the United States, unlike any preceding artistic statement. Following the footsteps of the masters like Walker Evans and Robert Frank with his chronicle of scenes across the breadth of the country, Shore emphasized the American landscape as quintessentially vernacular and colorful. On view at the show are a rare presentation of these vintage prints presented in their original format and materials, in 8 x 10 inches and 12 x 15 inches. In particular, these prints are known for their astonishingly acute details and distinct color palette that distills the spirit of the 1970s.
Stephen Shore, the subject of an immersive and staggeringly charming retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, is my favorite American photographer of the past half century. This is not purely a judgment of quality. Shore has peers in a generation that, in the nineteen-seventies, stormed to eminence with color film, which art photographers had long disdained, and, often, with a detached scrutiny of suburban sprawl, woebegone towns, touristed nature, cars (always cars), and other familiar and banal, accidentally beautiful, cross-country phenomena. The closest to Shore, in a cohort that includes Joel Meyerowitz, Joel Sternfeld, and Richard Misrach, is his friend William Eggleston, the raffish Southern aristocrat who has made pictures unbeatably intense and iconic: epiphanies triggered by the hues and textures of a stranded tricycle, say, or of a faded billboard in a scrubby field. While similarly alert to offbeat sublimities, Shore is a New Yorker more receptive than marauding in attitude. I fancy that Eggleston is the cavalier Mephistopheles of American color photography, and Shore the discreet angel Gabriel.
In the art world of the 1960s and 1970s, the photograph came to have a multiplicity of functions: it could document a performance (as in the art of Carolee Schneemann), advocate a social message (Danny Lyon), underpin a conceptual practice (Sol LeWitt), or relate a fictional narrative (Eleanor Antin). And today, now that cameras are ubiquitous and cloud-compatible, we often expect photography to serve as a tool for other efforts. But a photograph can still — we forget sometimes — have no function than to be itself.
Paris Photo, the first international fair dedicated to the photographic medium, will present its 21st edition from 9 to 12 November 2017 at the Grand Palais in Paris. A must-see event for collectors, professionals, artists and art lovers, Paris Photo focuses on the diversity and quality of the artists and works presented and proposes an ambitious and demanding public program. More than 180 galleries and publishers in three sectors present a complete panorama of the history of photography, from historical and modern works to contemporary creation, from rare and limited editions to previews of artists' books.
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.
One of the most significant photographers of our time, Stephen Shore (American, b. 1947) 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 color 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.
The artist’s first survey in New York to include his entire career, this exhibition will both allow for a fuller understanding of Shore’s work, and demonstrate 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 humor, and visual casualness—and uncompromising pursuit of photography’s possibilities.
From a young teenager playing with a camera to having his own solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Stephen Shore has come a long way. His photographic journey is well documented in this fascinating exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Starting in mid-November, the display of Shore’s work will run into Spring 2018.
As the first US survey of the American photographer’s oeuvre, the exhibition ranges from gelatin silver prints made by him as a teenager to his current work that is more concerned with digital platforms. The exhibition charts the artist’s trajectory from his beginnings at just 14 years old, to his continuous restless investigation of image making. The exhibit also includes hundreds of photographic works along with books, ephemera, and objects. Many of these works have not been published or exhibited to the public before now. These works come from his conceptual projects, the ‘American Surfaces’, and ‘Uncommon Places’ series, his landscapes of the 1980s, commissions, and his recent explorations of Israel and Ukraine.
The work of the American photographer Stephen Shore (b. 1947, New York City) has shaped contemporary photography and inspired generations of photographers. He has never stopped exploring the boudaries of photography, and has selected subjects that were not seen as obviously photogenic. He has effortlessly switched back and forth between black and white and colour, and has experimented with a wide variety of cameras and every possible format. This exhibition covers the period 1960-2016 and shows important turning points in his career.
All great American photographs have one thing in common: power lines. This is not, strictly speaking, true. But it often feels true, especially when you look at street photography. Electricity tends to follow our roadways, just like documentary photographers. So power lines inevitably appear in their pictures. And the way an individual photographer confronts them can illuminate his style of seeing. You can observe Walker Evans’s mastery with the camera, for instance, in his treatment of power lines. He admitted them into photographs not, like most of us, by unhappy necessity, but with formal artistic intention. No one was better at it than he was—except for maybe Stephen Shore.
Even though the main thread of the 1970s color story is now well known, this vein of photography continues to be an active area for exploration and (re)discovery. Likely due to the predominance of color in today’s contemporary work and the powerful influence of the early color photographers on those working today, there seems to be a consistent interest in going back to the roots of this narrative and revisiting the evolution of the major practitioners. This exhibit focuses on three of the main players (Eggleston, Shore, and Meyerowitz), while the related survey book covers a much broader selection of photographers.