Stephen Shore

American photographer Stephen Shore is best known for recording banal scenes of his home country. Throughout the first twenty years of his life he resided mostly in a modest few square miles of Manhattan, New York. Come the early 70s, Shore set off on a road trip to Texas looking out at the landscape from the passenger seat of a friends car. He takes an attentive look at what is very ordinary, and often overlooked, amongst the sprawling American terrain.

I recently came across a selection of Shore’s images within the Constructing Worlds exhibition at the Barbican Centre, and was struck by his filmic use of colour and composition. Being “on the road” is a concept intrinsically linked to American history, and the way Shore has angled and cropped his pictures simulates looking through the frame of a car window. The photographs present a seemingly honest depiction of real life, whilst subtly implying greater meaning.

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