The Open Road: Stephen Shore

Nov 3, 2014 3:58PM
Stephen Shore's iconic "U.S. 10, Post Falls, Idaho, August 25, 1974," fromUncommon Places, is reproduced from The Open Road: Photography and the American Roadtrip, one of the greatest photography collections this year. Author David Campany writes, "Shore's photographs are analytical but not overtly critical, curious yet distanced, at once literal and consciously symbolic. In this sense, they carry forward a way of understanding and picturing America first distilled by Walker Evans. 'I was fascinated with architecture as a physical expression of cultural forces. That’s what I’m always looking for. A picture can contain conflict, but that’s not all the picture is about.' As soon as he felt he was repeating himself, Shore brought this way of working to a close. Overall, there are some 700 photographs that Shore feels belong to the project. Uncommon Places was first published in 1982 with 49 images. The emphasis was on intersections and roadsides, but in reality the approach had a far greater sweep. There are landscapes, townscapes, studies of buildings, portraits and still lifes—all motivated by the sheer challenge of picture making and the complex pleasure taken in things and appearances."
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