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The colour of time: Stephen Shore’s American Surfaces 1972-2014

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posted on 08.06.2021, 14:55 authored by Lisa Muzzin
In 1972 American photographer Stephen Shore (b. 1947) started the series of chromogenic colour photographs titled American Surfaces (1972-73). In the decades following the initial production of this work and its 1974 acquisition by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the material qualities and aesthetics of colour photography underwent dramatic changes. This thesis explores the relationship between developments in colour imaging technology and shifts in artistic production from the making of American Surfaces to the present, and explores the increased recognition now given to colour photography as art. In 2016, American Surfaces can be found in a variety of forms including: two publications, numerous recently created digital chromogenic colour exhibition prints, and the original 1972-73 prints at The Met. Focusing on the materiality of this culturally and historically significant body of colour photographic work, this thesis examines three different iterations of American Surfaces from initial production in 1972 to 2014 and their impact on the interpretation of the series.





Master of Arts


Film and Photography Preservation and Collections Management

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type