The artist’s first major museum exhibition in the United States opens at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in November 2013. Debut solo show at Lehmann Maupin scheduled for January 2014
New York, 17 September 2013—Lehmann Maupin is pleased to announce that Alex Prager, the Los Angeles-based photographer and filmmaker, has joined the gallery. She will have a major solo exhibition opening this fall at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Lehmann Maupin will present Prager’s work for the first time this October at the Frieze Art Fair, London, and at FIAC, Paris, followed by her debut solo show at its Lower East Side gallery in January 2014.
Alex Prager’s staged, theatrical and cinematic photographs are inspired by a wide range of influences and references, including classic Hollywood cinema and experimental films; popular culture; and a mix of fashion and street photography. Her large-scale photographs evoke a timeless nostalgia that is further complicated by an ambiguous, open-ended narrative, which casts the viewer as voyeur. Prager is working alongside a new generation of artists, including Roe Ethridge, Elad Lassry, and Michele Abeles, who explore how popular images are constructed and consumed in today’s media-saturated society. Taking her cue from a wide range of photographers, including Weegee’s documentary street style, William Eggleston’s saturated color photographs, and the staged works of Gregory Crewdson, Cindy Sherman, and Thomas Demand, Prager utilizes 21st-century technology as a means to construct and implement her distinct aesthetic. Like many of Lehmann Maupin’s artists, Prager embraces a multi-layered approach to art making, working across the disciplines of film and photography, while also developing both a fine art practice and taking on more commercial endeavors.
Of the decision to work together, David Maupin says: “Alex Prager’s work fits into the larger context of Lehmann Maupin’s program, which from the very beginning has been dedicated to providing emerging and established artists with strategic platforms for the continual development and promotion of their work. Similar to how gallery artists Tracey Emin, Mickalene Thomas, and Juergen Teller operate in multiple realms, Alex embraces a wide range of outlets to express her vision. We are excited to be collaborating with Alex at this important moment in her career, and look forward to presenting her work in depth in New York in January.”
Alex Prager: Face in the Crowd, the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States, will be on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. from 23 November 2013 through 9 March 2014. The exhibition will comprise forty photographs and four films from the past decade, including the artist’s most ambitious and complex series to date, Face in the Crowd, which was created especially for the Corcoran’s show. These elaborately constructed scenes of large crowds at airport terminals, lobbies, beaches, movie theaters and other public spaces are both poignant and revelatory. Captured from seemingly impossible vantage points, the actions of hundreds of costumed actors on specially constructed sets are directed by the artist in a manner that blurs our perception of fiction and reality. What emerges is a telling portrait of the individual within the complexity of the larger crowd, and how the complicated and, at times, contradictory emotions associated with being in a group environment—including feelings of fear, claustrophobia, safety in numbers or being a part of something larger than oneself—play out. The series also includes a new film featuring the actress Elizabeth Banks. The exhibition is curated by Kaitlin Booher, assistant curator of photography and media arts at the Corcoran. Prager’s new body of work, Face in the Crowd, will be the focus of Prager’s first solo show at Lehmann Maupin, 201 Chrystie Street, from 9 January – 22 February 2014.
Alex Prager was born in 1979 in Los Angeles, California, where she continues to lives and work. A self-taught artist, she was inspired to take up photography after seeing the color images of William Eggleston, who is widely regarded as the father of contemporary color photography. Her work has been exhibited worldwide, most prominently in Alex Prager: Compulsion (2012) at FOAM in Amsterdam, and in New Photography 2010 at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Prager has been recognized with the London Photography Award (2006) and the FOAM Paul Huf Award (2012), among other honors. Her editorial work has been featured in Vogue and W, and her film “Touch of Evil,” commissioned by The New York Times Magazine, won a 2012 Emmy Award. Prager’s work is represented in the collections of major museums including New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden.