Stephen Shore: Uncommon Places
Lynne Tillman, Stephen Shore, Ed.D., Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen. Aperture, $55 (188pp) ISBN 978-1-931788-34-2
A teenaged photographic aspirant who hung around at Andy Warhol's factory in its mid-60s heyday, Shore found success early: his first show at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art was held when he was only 23. These 152 full-page, full-color shots comprise his serial project of the 70s,""Uncommon Places,"" which documented roadside America with a dispassionate, Andy-like emptiness. It's an aesthetic that has been endlessly co-opted by American filmmakers like Gus Van Sant and Jim Jarmusch, but some of these 12 7/8"" x 10 5/16"" shots of prairies, parking lots, polyester-clad couples and plastic hotel furnishings manage to seem fresh nonetheless. Shore's concluding interview with Lynn Tillman makes the Warhol connection explicit, and argues for a kind of meaning-making from the void:""Formalism often sounds like a kind of visual nicety, but if I use it, that's not how I mean it."" Beautiful, lush reproductions with minimal captions allow the photos to speak for themselves.
Reviewed on: 06/14/2004