Celebrating a career that spans over four decades through 65 photographs, Sprüth Magers presents American artist, Stephen Shore’s, first solo show in London for over six years, from 26 November to 11 January. Taking its title from composer-philosopher John Cage’s Lecture on Something and Lecture on Nothing, concerned with the artist’s quest for beauty in the everyday, this exhibition draws together vintage works from the seminal series American Surfaces (1972-3) and Uncommon Places (1973-9), alongside the more recent Abu Dhabi (2009), Israel (2010) and the never before exhibited series Ukraine (2012).
Marked for his extraordinary impact on photography, Shore set the standard for handling colour, light and shadow in depictions of the social landscape, pioneering the diaristic snapshot and the monumental landscape. Embarking on his first road trip around America in 1972, Shore became known for capturing the immense diversity of the suburban landscape, focusing on residential architecture, drive-by diners, generic motel rooms and monotonous gas stations. Now seen as classic Americana, culturally rich snapshots showing the tempo, palettes and artifacts of the time and place, the artist’s recent works have extended out this interest in documenting the social landscape to digital and film work.
In images snapped during his visits to Israel, Abu Dhabi and Ukraine in the last four years, Shore’s photographic eye similarly directs the audience to markers of time and change, capturing the quotidian and a sense of locality. Fascinated with the commercial and the private as well as the intersections between the two, regionally-specific consumer tendencies and tastes for the artifact, ersatz decorations and relics of domestic life come to the fore. Meanwhile, bookmarked novels, an overturned table or a thumbed newspaper take centre stage, shown off in all its captivating ordinariness. For more details pick up a copy of Aesthetica Issue 55, where the exhibition is currently previewed.
Stephen Shore: Something + Nothing, 26 November- 11 January, Sprüth Magers, 7A Grafton Street, London, W1S 4EJ.
1. Stephen Shore, Amarillo, Texas, August 1973.