Work / Photography

New York and Chicago in the 1970s and 80s captured by Wayne Sorce

Born in Chicago in 1946, photographer Wayne Sorce was a keen adopter of colour photography and saw the chaos of urban landscapes as ripe material for his images.

The photographer died in 2015 and the Joseph Bellows Gallery in California is celebrating his life’s work with Urban Colour, an exhibition of his large-scale colour photographs taken in the late 1970s and early 80s in Chicago and New York City.

Wayne’s city-based photographs are vast and vibrant, often cleverly playing with light, shadow and the architecture of the cityscape he’s depicting. His rich colour palettes of golden reds and textured greys emulate the filmic colours we’ve come to associate with those eras. It’s when Wayne plays with perspective or captures interesting coincidences that his images really sing. “For the photographer, the urban landscape is both still and transitory; people appear in the photographs as both inhabitants of the city, as well as sculptural forms relating to a larger composed scene,” says the gallery.

Alongside Wayne’s work, the exhibition will display a collection of photographs by his contemporaries that explore the city as a subject, including work from Bob Thall, George Tice, Bevan Davies, Grant Mudford and many others.

Urban Colour by Wayne Sorce is on show at the Joseph Bellows Gallery, California until 30 December 2017.


Wayne Sorce: Varick Street, New York 1984


Wayne Sorce: Blankets, New York 1986


Wayne Sorce: Barbers, New York 1985


Wayne Sorce: Bee Gee’s, New York 1984


Wayne Sorce: Chock Full of Nuts, New York 1984


Wayne Sorce: Dave’s Restaurant, New York 1984


Wayne Sorce: EL Platform, Chicago 1978


Wayne Sorce: No Left Vinegar Hill, New York 1988


Wayne Sorce: Spiral Fire Escape, Chicago 1975


Wayne Sorce: Under the EL, Chicago 1978


Wayne Sorce: Vinegar Hill, New York 1985