Publisher: London and New York: Phaidon Press, Inc., 2008
Edition: 1st Edition
Condition: New / No dust jacket as issued
Item #: 105863
First edition, first printing. Limited edition of 3300 copies, signed and numbered by Shore. Hardcover. Black leather-covered boards, no dust jacket as issued, with photographically illustrated slipcase and publisher's cardboard shipping box. Photographs, text and facsimile journal reproduction by Stephen Shore. Designed by Stephan Müller. 256 pp., with 300 four-color illustrations beautifully printed on heavy coated paper from separations by Robert Hennessey. 14-3/8 x 11-1/4 inches. [Cited in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History, Volume III. (London and New York: Phaidon, 2014)].
New in publisher's packaging.
A Road Trip Journal is a limited edition facsimile of Stephen Shore's personal journal which traces his now legendary 1973 road trip across the U.S. This unique volume is loaded with the ephemera of Shore's month-long trip: motel, restaurant and gasoline receipts, postcards, ticket stubs and notes on the photographs, and exquisite reproductions of every photograph made during the trip. The journal offers collateral glimpses into the artist's experience, taking on a heightened significance that comes with the knowledge that it was this trip that yielded the photographs for Shore's seminal book, Uncommon Places, which changed the way photography was perceived when it was released in 1982. Shore was the anti-Frank in many ways. Yet, he followed in Robert Frank's footsteps, traveling the country, in the long tradition of wandering, seeking photographers. As an outsider to American culture, Frank saw a chaotic, polarized society prone to consumerism, regret, violence, decay, human relationships in flux. He shot from the car, from the hip, with a 35mm, on the run. By contrast, Shore traveled with an 8x10" view camera keeping meticulous notes about his experience . He constructed order, stability, and represented an America seemingly without emotion, instead creating a formal clarity in storefronts, parking lots, motels, department stores, drugstores, the roadside vernacular.
As one of the first photographers to seriously employ color in his work, Shore is part of the canon of modern photography. It's hard to imagine what a radical and controversial act this was in the 1960's and early 1970's. Until then, color photographs were relegated to snapshots, but few took it seriously in the service of "fine art photography."
At the age of 24 Shore became the first living photographer to have a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1971). As a teenager, Shore could be found hanging out photographing at Andy Warhol's factory. Shore's work has an intense, formal beauty, a precision of line and color and surface. It represents a romanticized, now vanishing America, one that might be lonely, but is clean, and nostalgic. Shore made photographs that examined and ultimately elevated banality into high art with sophisticated composition and color sensibility. Sold out by the publisher before its release, A Road Trip Journal offers the opportunity to experience Shore's road trip, now as nostalgia, and is certain to become a collector's item.
From the publisher: "Stephen Shore is one of the most pioneering and influential photographers of the twentieth century, best-known for his photographs of vernacular America taken in the early 1970s. This special, highly collectible limited edition book is the only complete documentation of Shore's road trip across America in 1973 featuring a reproduction of every page of the journal he made on this trip and every photograph taken. Shore recorded every detail of his road trip in this journal, which featured his own photographs and lists of information [about] where he stayed, what he ate, what he watched on the television, how many photographs he took, as well as ephemera such as receipts and postcards.
This beautifully designed book is the same format as Shore's original journal, with each page faithfully reproduced and followed by a section of plates showing each photograph taken on the trip, including small town high streets, plates of food, toilets, beds, hotel rooms and portraits of locals and friends. The photographs Shore made on this trip are only published in full here although they also form part of his seminal body of work Uncommon Places, which, along with American Surfaces, paved the way for the work of famous photographers of the 'ordinary' and 'everyday,' such as Martin Parr, Thomas Struth and Nan Goldin. Each individually numbered book is signed by Shore and includes a short text on the history of the road trip written by the photographer. A full set of the postcards that Shore made and distributed secretly in local shops' racks during his travels are also reproduced to ensure this is a complete record of the trip, and an essential title for photobook collectors, photography enthusiasts, or for anyone interested in American popular culture."