Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore (American, born 1947). _American National Bank Building, 7th & Tyler._ 1971. Offset lithograph, 3 1/2 x 5 1/2" (8.9 x 14 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist. 2013

Stephen Shore. Greeting from Amarillo, “Tall in Texas". 1971

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Stephen Shore (American, born 1947). American National Bank Building, 7th & Tyler. 1971. Offset lithograph, 3 1/2 x 5 1/2" (8.9 x 14 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist. 2013

This series of postcards is called Amarillo, “Tall in Texas.” I made it in 1971. At this time, I'd been traveling around the country a little bit, and collecting postcards. And I found postcards fascinating, because they conveyed cultural information without the pretense of art. They seemed very direct and uninflected views of our culture. As a kind of homage to them, I wanted to do a series of postcards myself.

And what I did was choose 10 highlights of Amarillo. Half of them are, in fact, subjects very typical of postcards: the main street, the hospital, the civic center, the court house. But, half of them are more local and quirky: Doug's Barbecue, and the Double Dip. These were places that, if you were a teenager growing up in Amarillo, this is where you would go.

I made a miscalculation. I thought that what the New York art world wanted was postcards of Amarillo, Texas. I had thousands of cards printed, and sold none.

So then, I tried to make the best of a bad situation. Since the postcards don't say the name “Amarillo” on the back, they're generic cards; I could leave them anywhere. For the next several years as I traveled around the country, I would take handfuls of them and stuff postcard racks all over the country full of the cards.

Stephen Shore (American, born 1947). American National Bank Building, 7th & Tyler. 1971. Offset lithograph, 3 1/2 x 5 1/2" (8.9 x 14 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist. 2013
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