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 colour beyond the domain of advertising and fashion photography, and his large-format colour work on the American vernacular landscape stands at the root of what has become a vital photographic tradition over the past forty years.
Uncommon Places: The Complete Works presents 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 twenty more images and a statement discussing the rediscovery of photographs never previously printed and 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 internal systems of gestures in composition and light, through which a parking lot emptied of people, a hotel bedroom, or a building on a side street assumes both an archetypal aura and an ambiguously personal importance. In contrast to his signature landscapes with which Uncommon Places is often associated, this expanded survey reveals equally remarkable collections of interiors and portraits.
An essay by noted critic and curator Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen and a conversation with Shore by fiction writer Lynne Tillman examine his methodology as they elucidate his roots in the Pop and Conceptual art movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The texts are illustrated with reproductions from Shore’s earlier series American Surfaces and Amarillo: Tall in Texas.