Stephen Shore: Colouring American Photography

  • Location: South African National Gallery
  • From: September 24, 2008     To: November 23, 2008
Stephen Shore: Colouring American Photography

The first solo exhibition in South Africa of the work of American photographer, Stephen Shore, is a component and highlight of MoP4, Cape Town’s Month of Photography. The exhibition focuses on two of Shore’s seminal series: ‘American Surfaces’ and ‘Uncommon Places’, but includes a selection from the ‘Amarillo postcard series’ along with more recent work such as Shore’s ‘ibooks’, which use print-on-demand digital technology.

Stephen Shore’s early photography, from the 1970s, was amongst the first colour photography to be included within the canon of art. He was the youngest person and the first living photographer to hold a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art at the age of twenty-four. Shore’s images documenting the cultural landscape of the 1970s and 1980s in his travels across America richly demonstrate the tempo, palette and artifacts of the time. Although seemingly taken in a snapshot style, reflection reveals that they are carefully constructed compositions in which he transforms the mundane and inconsequential through a process of ‘conscious attention’. While his early work was roundly condemned by contemporary critics for its sharp deviation from the black-and-white art photographic conventions of the time, it is now regarded as having had a significant impact on the trajectory of contemporary photography and has influenced countless photographers, from Andreas Gursky to Nan Goldin.

This exhibition was organised and sponsored by the Roger Ballen Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting the education of photography and focuses on bringing the work of international photographers to South Africa.


Pam Warne
Tel: +27 (0)21 467 4671

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