Stephen Shore: American Surfaces


A photo-diary of Stephen Shore's experience crossing America in the 1970s.


Stephen Shore


Editions:

Price: USD$39.95

In 1972, Stephen Shore left New York City and set out with a friend to Amarillo, Texas. He didn't drive, so his first view of America was framed by the passenger's window frame. He was taken aback by the fact that his experience of life as a New Yorker had very little in common with the character and aspirations of Middle America. Later that year he set out again, this time on his own, with just a driver's licence and a Rollei 35 - a point-and-shoot camera - to explore the country through the eyes of an everyday tourist.

The project was entitled American Surfaces, in reference to the superficial nature of his brief encounters with places and people, and the underlying character of the images that he hoped to capture. Shore photographed relentlessly and returned to New York triumphant, with hundreds of rolls of film spilling from his bags. In order to remain faithful to the conceptual foundations of the project, he followed the lead of most tourists of the time and sent his film to be developed and printed in Kodak's labs in New Jersey.

The result was hundreds and hundreds of exquisitely composed colour pictures, that became the benchmark for documenting our fast-living, consumer-orientated world. The corpus of his work - following on from Walker Evans' and Robert Frank's epic experiences of crossing America - influenced photographers such as Martin Parr and Bernd & Hilla Becher, who in turn introduced a new generation of students to Shore's work.



SPECIFICATIONS:

Format: Paperback
Size: 245 x 210 mm (9 5/8 x 8 1/4 in)
Pages: 224 pp
Illustrations: 0 illustrations
ISBN: 9780714848631

At the age of 17, Stephen Shore (b.1947) was a regular at Andy Warhol's Factory. By the age of 23, he became the first living photographer to have a one-man show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. An unrivalled pioneer in his field, his work has been exhibited in numerous museums worldwide and influenced generations of photographers. In 1982 he was appointed Director of the Photography Program at Bard College, New York where he is now the Susan Weber Soros Professor in the Arts.

"As a recorder of the fleeting but highly charged moments in the everyday, the weight of Shore's influence is undeniable."—Creative Review

"[Shore's] exquisitely composed colour photographs became the benchmark for documenting our consumer-driven, fast-living world."—Lexus magazine

"Fascinating."—Metro

"One of the most remarkable, yet understated imagists of modern photography - Shore's skill at capturing mundane scenes and transforming them into crisp, fascinating images is unparalleled."—Gay Times

"Stephen Shore's American Surfaces covers rather familiar territory from 1972 and ’73, yet it feels like a gift, and comes wrapped in that. The book itself—just and inch or so wider than a standard hardcover—is being sold inside a pouch mocked up to look like a bright yellow-orange Kodak color-finishing envelope... Brilliant."—Art and Auction

"Looking at the pictures is like immersing yourself in a stranger's scrapbook, but in Shore's eyes, these people, these places, these plates of food are at once generic and iconic... A coffee cup on wood-grain Formica or the dusty sole of a woman's bare foot is transformed into a casual epiphany."—Vince Aletti, The New Yorker

"A wonderful collection of snap-shot photographs taken at the beginning of a remarkable career."—Picture

"As a recorder of the fleeting but highly charged moments in the everyday, the weight of Shore's influence is undeniable."—Creative Review

"[Shore's] exquisitely composed colour photographs became the benchmark for documenting our consumer-driven, fast-living world."—Lexus magazine


 

 

 
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Danny Lyon: The Seventh Dog
Eugene Richards: The Fat Baby
Eugene Richards: Dorchester Days
Colin Jones: Grafters
Joel Meyerowitz: Aftermath

HOME OF THE VISUAL ARTS

Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City.
Read more