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Stephen Shore, Abu Dhabi, 2009, color photograph, 16 x 20".

Stephen Shore

Aspen Art Museum

Stephen Shore, Abu Dhabi, 2009, color photograph, 16 x 20".

Sometimes a quiet, understated image demands equally unfussy discourse, which is why it is difficult (if not counterintuitive even to try) to articulate the vernacular magic within Stephen Shore’s photographs: scenes that are familiar yet rare, static but pregnant with energy, at once immediate and strangely drawn out. In Shore’s work, even a title can say too much, so it seems appropriate that the thirty-two prints (all works 2009) exhibited at the Aspen Art Museum this summer share the same title: “Abu Dhabi.” Produced during the artist’s first visit to the capital emirate, this series depicts a peripheral Abu Dhabi by way of its unoccupied thoroughfares and cast-off junk piles, its measured suburban skylines and neatly arranged personal articles, its printed signage and generic public space. In short, Shore approached the Arab landscape as he has other parts of the world: with

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