"His work is Nabokovian for me: exposing so much, and yet leaving so much room for your imagination to roam and do what it will." Tennessee Williams
Originally published in 1982, Stephen Shore’slegendary 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 stands at the root of what has become a vital photographic tradition over the past forty years. Uncommon Places: The Complete Works, published by Aperture in 2004, presents 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 twenty rediscovered images and a statement explaining what it means to expand a series now many decades old.
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 in these images retains precise internal systems of gestures in composition and light, through which a parking lot emptied of people, a hotel bedroom, or a building on a side street assumes both an archetypal aura and an ambiguously personal importance. In contrast to his signature landscapes with which Uncommon Places is often associated, this expanded survey reveals equally remarkable collections of interiors and portraits.
At age fourteen, Stephen Shore (born in New York, 1947) had his work purchased by Edward Steichen for the Museum of Modern Art, New York. At seventeen, Shore was a regular at Andy Warhol’s Factory, producing an important photographic document of the scene, and in 1971, at the age of twenty-three, he became the first living photographer since Alfred Stieglitz forty years earlier to have a solo show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He has had numerous one-man shows, including those at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; George Eastman House, Rochester; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Jeu de Paume, Paris; and Art Institute of Chicago. He has received two NEA grants and a Guggenheim Foundation grant. Since 1982 he has been director of the photography program at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, where he is the Susan Weber Professor in the Arts.