Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Stephen Shore, "American Surfaces," 1969-79

Some images from Stephen Shore's "American Surfaces." I saw this exhibit yesterday, bought the book, and wish I could stare at it for a couple of days. Shore is often associated with Walker Evans, who also took deadpan portraits of ordinary places and people, and Andy Warhol, with whom Shore got his start and who evidently influenced his sense of pop and the beauty of the banal. Comparisons with Robert Frank are also made, but to less effect, I think -- Frank was a romantic, and I don't see that in Shore. He doesn't seem to be looking for hidden magic and secret symbols in the landscape, as Frank was. Rather, I think he's trying to relearn langauge. These pictures remind me of kid's ABC book. Shore's ABCs are a lot more complicated, but not mystical -- they're in the open, there for anyone who wants to look.