Stephen Shore at The Museum of Modern Art, November 19, 2017 – May 28, 2018

“’Whenever I find myself copying myself—making pictures whose problems I’ve already solved—I give myself new issues to pursue.’ Never locking into one style, always moving forward, considering each image as a problem to solve: these practices have defined Stephen Shore’s work for the past fifty years, regardless of his techniques and processes, whether shooting in color or black and white, using a view camera or the digital technologies of print-on-demand or Instagram.

Born in 1947, Shore is one of the most influential American photographers of his generation. After spearheading the New Color Photography movement in the United States in the 1970s, Shore became a major catalyst in the renewal of documentary photography in the late 1990s, both in the United States and Europe. He blended the tradition of American photographers such as Walker Evans with influences from various artistic movements, including Pop, Conceptualism, and even Photo-Realism.

Shore’s images seem to achieve perfect neutrality, in both subject matter and approach. Rather than being heroic, they are characterized by a poetics of the ordinary and a staunch refusal to create an effect for its own sake, echoing a long American tradition of elevating the simple and the commonplace. His approach cannot be reduced to a style but is best summed up with a few principles from which he has seldom deviated: the search for maximum clarity, the absence of retouching and reframing, and respect for natural light. Above all, he exercises discipline, limiting his shots as much as possible—one shot of a subject, and very little editing afterward. All of these things point to a contemplative, transparent concept of photography, marked by concentration and a willful economy ofmeans that Shore himself, with the deadpan humor that can be seen throughout his work, likens to one of his favorite hobbies: fly-fishing.”

Following a chronological order, from the black-and-white images of his teenage years to his daily posts on Instagram today, this survey is the most comprehensive exhibition ever organized on Shore’s work, highlighting the many different aspects of his rich career. — Introductory Wall Text

Stephen Shore. New York, New York. 1964. Gelatin silver print, 9 1/8 × 13 1/2″ (23.2 × 34.3 cm). Courtesy the artist. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. 1:35 a.m., in Chinatown Restaurant, New York, New York. 1965–67. Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1995. 9 × 13 1/2″ (22.9 × 34.3 cm). Courtesy the artist. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. Kanab, Utah, June 1972. 1972. Chromogenic color print, printed 2017, Chromogenic color print, 3 1/16 × 4 5/8″ (7.8 × 11.7 cm). Courtesy the artist. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. Second Street, Ashland, Wisconsin, July 9, 1973. 1973. Chromogenic color print, printed 2017, 17 × 21 3/4″ (43.2 × 55.2 cm). Courtesy the artist. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. U.S. 97, South of Klamath Falls, Oregon, July 21, 1973. 1973. Chromogenic color print, printed 2002, 17 3/4 x 21 15/16″ (45.1 x 55.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Photography Council Fund. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. Breakfast, Trail’s End Restaurant, Kanab, Utah, August 10, 1973. 1973. Chromogenic color print, 16 7/8 × 21 1/4″ (42.8 × 54 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. West Third Street, Parkersburg, West Virginia, May 16, 1974. 1974. Chromogenic color print, 8 × 10 1/2″ (20.3 × 26.7 cm). Courtesy the artist. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. Lookout Hotel, Ogunquit, Maine, July 16, 1974. 1974. Chromogenic color print, printed 2013, 17 × 21 3/4″ (43.2 × 55.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of an anonymous donor. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. West 9th Avenue, Amarillo, Texas, October 2, 1974. 1974. Chromogenic color print, printed 2013, 17 × 21 3/4″ (43.2 × 55.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of an anonymous donor. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. Beverly Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, California, June 21, 1975. 1975. Chromogenic color print, printed 2013, 17 × 21 3/4″ (43.2 × 55.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of Thomas and Susan Dunn. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. U.S. 93, Wikieup, Arizona, December 14, 1976. 1976. Chromogenic color print, printed 2013, 17 × 21 3/4″ (43.2 × 55.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of Thomas and Susan Dunn. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. Giverny, France, 1977. 1977. Chromogenic color print, 7 11/16 x 9 5/8″ (19.5 x 24.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the Estate of Lila Acheson Wallace. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. Graig Nettles, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, March 1, 1978. 1978. Chromogenic color print, 7 11/16 x 9 11/16″ (19.5 x 24.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired with matching funds from Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller and the National Endowment for the Arts, 1978. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California, August 13, 1979. 1979. Chromogenic color print, printed 2013, 35 7/8 x 44 15/16″ (91.2 x 114.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. Gallatin County, Montana, August 2, 1983. 1983. Chromogenic color print, printed 2017, 36 × 45″ (91.4 × 114.3 cm). Courtesy the artist. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. County of Sutherland, Scotland, 1988. 1988. Chromogenic color print, 35 1/2 × 45 1/2″ (90.2 × 115.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Susan and Arthur Fleischer, Jr. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. Sderot, Israel, September 14, 2009. 2009. Chromogenic color print, 17 × 21 3/4″ (43.2 × 55.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. Uman, Cherkaska Province, Ukraine, July 22, 2012. 2012. Chromogenic color print, printed 2017, 16 × 20″ (40.6 × 50.8 cm). Courtesy the artist. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore. Isaak Bakmayev’s Medals, Berdichev, Zhytomyrska Province, Ukraine, July 29, 2012. 2012. Chromogenic color print, 17 × 21 3/4″ (43.2 × 55.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist. © 2017 Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore is organized by Quentin Bajac, The Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Chief Curator of Photography, with Kristen Gaylord, Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow, Department of Photography, MoMA.

Images courtesy Museum of Modern Art.