May 28 - July 2009
303 Gallery is proud to present its fourth exhibition of photographs by Stephen Shore. Renowned for his pioneering use of color photography, Shore will here present pieces from two lesser-known bodies of black and white work. Shore’s photographs are usually known for their quiet contemplation of the beauty of empty or overlooked space and the arbitrary nature of vantage point. The serenity of serial banality is played down in the black and white works, however. Given over to a more interactive viewpoint, the work is not purely observational, but implicates the photographer as a situationist rather than a simple documentarian.
In a series of works from The Velvet Years, Shore spent time at Warhol’s Factory in the mid-1960s, and photographed what he saw. From practice sessions between members of the Velvet Underground, to Edie Sedgwick photo shoots, famous visitors, late-night parties and their aftermaths, Shore captured what was to become art history. The characters in the images are intimate and personable, the artifice of the spotlight shed in service of the utility of the everyday process of creating artwork. The seemingly instant compositions point to Shore’s later work, but aside from their value as archival documents, the images illustrate just how The Factory as a machine went on to inform the comprehensive view Shore would take of life becoming art.
A more recent body of work, Intersections, is comprised of photographs taken in New York in 2000. In each of these scenes, Shore exposes a single 4”x10” inch negative (half a sheet of 8”x10” film) to create a panoramic view of pedestrian and street traffic on local corners. Freezing each chaotic moment in time, the large-scale images serve to peel back the dense layers of interaction in public, transient space. The photographer creates the landscape, with the myriad textures and possibilities that one’s eyes may be trained on at any moment given a mindful place to exist amidst the bombardment of the modern city.
Stephen Shore had solo shows at the Metropolitan Museu
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