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Stephen Shore, 'Wisteria covered bridge', (from 'The Giverny Portfolio'), 1977–83 | Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Donated by Aaron Milrad in memory of Bella and Joseph Milrad
Stephen Shore, 'Wisteria covered bridge', (from 'The Giverny Portfolio'), 1977–83 | Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Donated by Aaron Milrad in memory of Bella and Joseph Milrad
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Claude Monet's Stunning Giverny Garden Captured by American Photographer Stephen Shore

Picture of Freire Barnes
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 22 June 2017
To coincide with the first major presentation of Claude Monet’s work in Canada for over two decades, Vancouver Art Gallery are concurrently presenting the American photographer Stephen Shore’s exquisite Giverny Portfolio that pays homage to Monet’s impressive garden at his home in Giverny, France.

Just as Monet rebelled against the traditions of nineteenth-century art and embraced an alternative way of representing the world, which spawned impressionism, Stephen Shore championed colour photography as an art form in the early 70s when it was still solely confined to the world of advertising and fashion.

So it’s fitting the innovative American photographer was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to document the extensive restorations to Monet’s Giverny garden in the late 70s and early 80s.

Stephen Shore, Waterlilies, (from The Giverny Portfolio), 1977–83
Stephen Shore, Waterlilies, (from The Giverny Portfolio), 1977–83 | Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Donated by Aaron Milrad in memory of Bella and Joseph Milrad

Over a five-year period between 1977 and 1982, Shore made several visits to the flower and water gardens that Monet had spent years creating.

Capturing the famous water lily pond, the floral compositions and the famous Japanese bridge that inspired so many of Monet’s paintings, Shore gives these recognisable vistas new life and meaning.

Stephen Shore, View from the house, (from The Giverny Portfolio), 1977–83
Stephen Shore, View from the house, (from The Giverny Portfolio), 1977–83 | Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Donated by Aaron Milrad in memory of Bella and Joseph Milrad

‘We are thrilled to be showing Stephen Shore’s entire series from Giverny for the very first time, work by a photographer whose remarkable vision has shaped the evolution of the art of photography over the last several decades,’ said Vancouver Art Gallery Director, Kathleen S. Bartels. ‘The Giverny Portfolio captures with uncanny ability the gardens’ manifold variations in flora, texture and light that captivated Monet nearly a century ago.’

Stephen Shore, Wisteria covered bridge, (from The Giverny Portfolio), 1977–83
Stephen Shore, Wisteria covered bridge, (from The Giverny Portfolio), 1977–83 | Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Donated by Aaron Milrad in memory of Bella and Joseph Milrad

The series of twenty-five photographs not only evoke the tranquil contemplation of Monet’s paintings but also reveal the intense nature of the gardens in Shore’s quiet and reflective style.

Here, the photographer, who started out shooting black and white photos at Andy Warhol’s Factory, really embraces the sublime beauty of a horticultural haven.

Stephen Shore: The Giverny Portfolio is at Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2H7, Canada from June 24 to October 1, 2017.