Stephen Shore goes back on the road

The photographer is on another summer road-trip in the flyover states, shooting more American Surfaces
Mint Bar, White Sulphur Springs, Montana, 2018, by Stephen Shore. Image courtesy of the photographer's Instagram
Mint Bar, White Sulphur Springs, Montana, 2018, by Stephen Shore. Image courtesy of the photographer's Instagram

Stephen Shore’s contemporaries must have been just a little surprised when he chose to leave New York in the early 1970s. He was only taking a few months off, on the road, across America, yet having won over both Warhol’s crowd and key New York institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, many may have wondered what, say Klamath Falls, Oregon or Lovell, Wyoming could offer that Manhattan lacked.



A post shared by Stephen Shore (@stephen.shore) on Jul 23, 2018 at 12:05pm PDT


They soon found out, of course. In his snapshot series, American Surfaces, and large-format landscapes, Uncommon Places, Shore demonstrated both how colour photography – once largely the preserve of amateur photographers - could capture the natural beauty and the commercial pop of small town America. Through his lens, he showed how a simple petrol station could stand alongside a Claude Lorrain painting.



A post shared by Stephen Shore (@stephen.shore) on Jul 17, 2018 at 9:28am PDT


Since those early road trips, he’s applied a similar technique when photographing people and places in Italy, Israel and Ukraine among other places. However, this native New Yorker has never forgotten about small town America, and now he’s back on the road again. 



A post shared by Stephen Shore (@stephen.shore) on Jun 26, 2018 at 5:23pm PDT


Shore’s recent Instagram posts from Iowa, Montana and South Dakota certainly recall some of the natural beauty, faded majesty and downright strangeness of the USA outside of its big cities, and, the occassional sign brings us up-to-date, most of Shore’s pictures show that America’s beauty remains abundant, for those with the enquiring eye to seek it out. 


A Road Trip Journal by Stephen Shore

For more on Shore’s on the road, order a copy of A Road Trip Journal, a highly collectable, limited facsimile edition of the beautiful road trip journal he kept back in 1973. It’s signed and numbered by Stephen, and is available here

You May Also Like



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