“If I had the power to rearrange things, I wouldn’t…”

…so said Stephen Shore of his work in a 2003 interview for the Tate  as part of an Exhibition entitled “Cruel & Tender: The Real In the 20th Century Photograph”. (Scroll down the link:- its under Rineke Dijkstra!) . Renowned for his large format works in colour, celebrating everyday America, Shore describes his work as the culmination of a series of decisions as to how to articulate and organise space space, such that it portrays the archetypal in the everyday. The importance he places on colour can be seen in the Artist’s Statement contained within his book Uncommon Places.

In the 1970’s, Shore embarked on a number of cross-country trips, making “on the road” photographs of American and Canadian landscapes . The dispassionate “emptiness” of his portrayals of roadside America are perhaps informed to some degree by his early photographic experiences with Andy Warhol at the Factory.

Billboard (c) Stephen Shore

U.S. 97, South Klamath Falls, Oregon, July 21, 1973, from Uncommon Places: The Complete Works.(c) Stephen Shore

Avowing not to crop his work, Shore utilises light and intuition to achieve balance within his imagery. Two bodies of work, American Surfaces(shot in 35mm in 1972) andUncommon Places (shot in medium format between 1973 and the end of the decade) are illustrative of these aims.

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