After World War II, the American road trip began appearing prominently in literature, music, movies, and photography. While the myth of the American frontier had long engaged artists, and key photographers such as Walker Evans and Edward Weston made seminal trips through America in the 1930s and 1940s, many more photographers purposefully embarked on trips during the post-World War II era in order to create work about America or better understand their place in it. The Open Road considers the photographic road trip as a genre in and of itself. The exhibition presents the story of nineteen photographers for whom the American road was muse. Presented in chronological order, the featured artists and road trips represent the evolution of American car culture, the idea of the open road, and how photographers embraced the subject of America in order to reflect on place, time, and self.
Exhibition organized by Aperture Foundation, New York
David Campany and Denise Wolff, curators. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
U.S. 97, South of Klamath Falls, Oregon, July 21, 1973 (detail)
Chromogenic color print
© Stephen Shore, 303 Gallery, New York