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Aspen Art Museum


Stephen Shore: Abu Dhabi

Jul 29, 2011-Oct 9, 2011

As an artist and teacher, Stephen Shore has had perhaps the most deeply felt impact on American photography over the past half-century. In 1965, Shore began documenting Andy Warhol’s factory, creating a body of work that, in 1971, was the subject of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s first-ever single-artist show by a living photographer. Shore was twenty-four at the time.

Shore’s iconic images from the American Surfaces and Uncommon Places series of the 1970s brought radical treatments of color and space to seemingly banal views of American life. Those works documented working-class homes, small-town intersections, plates of food in diners, parking lots, strip malls, and cinemas. Today, as then, Shore dynamically balances this apparently casual subject matter with masterful formal rigor, giving his works a poetic tension and lending a charged beauty to what we see around us, but so often overlook.

In the past decade, Shore has been shooting with a digital camera and producing on-demand, short-run books with Apple’s iPhoto software. Embracing the speed and freedom of these innovations, Shore has created stunning new bodies of work through modest means and by using vernacular techniques. Featuring thirty-six images from one such recent series shot entirely in Abu Dhabi, Shore’s exhibition at the Aspen Art Museum—the first time these images have been printed or exhibited—gave audiences in this country a nuanced, street-level view of the region that’s refreshingly free from media exaggeration.

This exhibition was funded in part by the AAM National Council along with major support provided by Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson. General exhibition support was provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Exhibition lectures are presented as part of the Questrom Lecture Series.