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J.J. Summers Agency, Duluth, Minn.
Stephen Shore (American, born 1947)
1973, printed 2003
Image: 50.8 x 61 cm (20 x 24 in.)
Purchase, Marlene Nathan Meyerson Family Foundation Gift, 2004
Rights and Reproduction:
© Stephen Shore
Not on view
In the mid- to late 1970s Shore traveled the country by car photographing the banal vernacular details of the national scene, from main streets and parking lots to office buildings and apartment complexes. Inspired by the sweeping documentary projects of Walker Evans and Robert Frank, Shore's quiet, almost subdued sensibility differed greatly from the gritty social commentaries of his predecessors. He was also working in color at a time when it was considered vulgar, beneath the realm of serious art photography. This view of a deserted street-level office evokes the stillness, mystery, and melancholy of Edward Hopper's paintings, particularly his Drugstore of 1927 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) . In Shore's photograph, as in Hopper's painting, the empty storefront has a strangely artificial air like a lighted stage set awaiting a dramatic scene.