In 2007 PS1 gallery put on a show called "Not for Sale." It included paintings, photographs and sculptures by over thirty artists who had been asked to lend a work that they could not part with. Stephen Shore chose July 22, 1969. Having spent three years documenting Warhol's Factory Shore had been exposed to the conceptual and serial practices that were transforming art in New York and beyond. With July 22, 1969 he made his first foray into the deadpan seriality that would become his trademark. Shot at thirty-minute intervals over the course of twenty-four hours, July 22, 1969 follows Shore's friend Doug Marsh through an unremarkable day in Amarillo, Texas. "I looked at the second hand on my watch," Shore explains. "I didn't want to wait for a good moment to take the photograph around that time. I wanted to do it at exactly that time." This dramatic shift in intentionality and interest paved the way for his color series American Surfaces, which he began in 1972, again on a trip to Amarillo.
Though seldom exhibited, July 22, 1969 demonstrates the fascination with everyday subjects, vernacular techniques and chance operations that would not only distinguish Shore as an artist but would also break down the barrier between photography and art in the following decade.show more