Originally published in 1982, Stephen Shore’s legendary “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 inaugurated a vital photographic tradition. “Uncommon Places: The Complete Works,” published by Aperture in 2005, presented 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 nearly 20 rediscovered images and a statement explaining what it means to expand a classic series. 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 retains precise systems of gestures in composition and light through which a hotel bedroom or a building on a side street assumes both an archetypal aura and an ambiguously personal importance. An essay by critic and curator Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen and a conversation with Shore by writer Lynne Tillman examine his methodology and elucidate his roots in Pop and Conceptual art. The texts are illustrated with reproductions from Shore’s earlier series “American Surfaces” and “Amarillo: Tall in Texas.”
At age 14 Stephen Shore (born 1947) had his work purchased by Edward Steichen for The Museum of Modern Art, New York. At 17 Shore was a regular at Andy Warhol’s Factory, producing an important photographic document of the scene, and in 1971 at the age of 23 he became the first living photographer since Alfred Stieglitz 40 years earlier to have a one-man show at the Met. He has had numerous one-man shows, among others at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; George Eastman House, Rochester; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and The Art Institute of Chicago. Since 1982 he has been Director of the Photography Program at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.