80 unseen photographs by Stephen Shore
What’s more incredible, the fact that the photo above was taken in 1973 and is only being exhibited now, or the fact that Arizona’s Wigwam motel still looks exactly the same to this day? Probably both, but it’s surprising that any of photographer Stephen Shore’s work would be kept a secret for so long. Shore famously got his start when he sold several photographs to the MoMA when he was just 14-years-old. He was unschooled in the medium then and has remained a self-taught photographer ever since. It wasn’t until ten years later that Shore made a real name for himself with American Surfaces, the 1972 series of photographs he took on his first major American road trip. People immediately responded to his deadpan composition and striking use of color. But it’s Uncommon Places, the photographs from his next road trip just one year later that has Shore fans buzzing now.
Berlin gallery Sprueth Magers is currently hosting Shore’s first solo exhibition in the city in over fifteen years. The show includes eighty unseen photographs from the Uncommon Places series. Unlike American Surfaces, these photographs are less focused on places and people and their stories and more on the anonymous and mundane aspects of traveling the country by car. Taken on an 8 x 10 inch camera mounted on a tripod, these photos are deliberate choices as opposed to Shore’s previous, more fleeting images, though they still show his clear knack for color and composition. Taken almost forty years ago, these images, along with more of Shore’s work can be seen through January 8, 2011.
Hamburger Steak Dinner, Redfield, SD, July 13, 1973
Stampeder Motel, Ontario, Oregon, July 19, 1973