In the Mood For
Make your way to Museum of Modern Art to find a survey of photographer Stephen Shore’s work for the first time in New York City. A pioneer of color photography, Shore rose to prominence in the 1970s with images of the everyday made poetic through the use of empty space and muted color. Now 70, Shore has begun experimenting with digital photography, showcasing his work on Instagram. The MOMA exhibit traverses an expansive career, and the dimanche girl wouldn’t miss it.
In a month of reflecting on the theme of space, we looked to Shore’s explorations of photographic space in Serial Images (1969-1970). In this series, Shore photographs the same subject from many different angles and perspectives. This personal exercise allowed him to perfect the parameters of time and space within his photographs, and to discover how a different spatial ratio can alter the perception of the subject. Exhibiting these pieces allows the viewer to watch Shore’s thought process in composing a picture, and leaves you thinking about how space dramatically defines an image.
Shore’s most famous works are his series, “American Surfaces” and “Uncommon Places,” both shot on 35 mm and featuring classic Americana imagery of open roads and diner tabletops. These photographs invoke nostalgia for a time past and untouched. They are exhibited in groups together, providing a collage of Shore’s youth and travels.
The exhibition also includes Shore’s later work, including his black and white work of the 1990s, and his most recent experiments with photos published on Instagram. The museum provides several innovative displays: including photographs hanging from the walls and on screens for visitors to swipe through.
Walking out of the exhibit, Shore’s approach to viewing the world begins to take hold. Everyday objects suddenly seem worthy of a closer look, and you evaluate the composition of every glance. Time to get out your film camera, or even your phone, and start shooting!
20th Century Photographers | Photography Exhibition | Open Until May 28th
Words by Elena Scott
All photos by Stephen Shore