Stephen Shore

Form and Pressure:

Analyses alternative formal structures. In particular images based on one-point perspective, with the vanishing point in the centre of the image. When 3-dimensional space is collapsed into a flat picture, objects in the foreground are now seen, on the surface of the photograph, in a new and precise relationship to the objects in the background.juggling ever increasing visual complexity.

But at the same time, I recognized that I was imposing an order on the scene in front of me. Photographers have to impose order, bring
structure to what they photograph. It is inevitable. A photograph without structure is like a sentence without grammar – it is inconceivable. This order is the product of a series of decisions: where to position the camera, exactly where to place the frame, and when to release the shutter. These decisions simultaneously define the content and determine the structure.

As I approached the intersection for a second time, I asked myself if I could organize the information I wanted to include without relying on a overriding structural principle, the way I did the day before. I asked myself if I could structure the picture in a way that communicated my experience standing there, taking in the scene in front of me. Sometimes I have the sense that form contains an almost philosophical communication – that as form becomes more invisible, transparent, it begins to express an artist’s understanding of the structure of experience.

From Galilee to the Negev



Stephen Shore was interested in photography from an early age. Self-taught, he received a photographic darkroom kit at age six from a forward-thinking uncle. He began to use a 35 mm camera three years later and made his first color photographs. At ten he received a copy of Walker Evans’s book, American Photographs, which influenced him greatly. His career began at fourteen, when he presented his photographs to Edward Steichen, then curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Recognizing Shore’s talent, Steichen bought three. At seventeen, Shore met Andy Warhol and began to frequent Warhol’s studio, the Factory, photographing Warhol and the creative people that surrounded him. In 1971, at the age of 24, Shore became the second living photographer to have a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Shore then embarked on a series of cross-country trips, making “on the road” photographs of American and Canadian landscapes. In 1972, he made the journey from Manhattan to Amarillo, Texas, that provoked his interest in color photography. Viewing the streets and towns he passed through, he conceived the idea to photograph them in color, first using 35 mm hand-held camera and then a 4×5″ view camera before finally settling on the 8×10 format. In 1974 a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) endowment funded further work, followed in 1975 by a Guggenheim grant and in 1976 a color show at MoMA, NY. His 1982 book, Uncommon Places, was a bible for the new color photographers because, alongside William Eggleston, his work proved that a color photograph, like a painting or even a black and white photograph, could be considered a work of art