Lyndsey Ingram Gallery
24 November 2017 – 5 January 2018
The photography of Miles Aldridge alludes to a broad spectrum of cultural, art historical and aesthetic references. In adapting the allure, honed artifice and abbreviated narratives of fashion photography to a more singular and filmic practice, Aldridge has become a master of hybridization. In his work, the tension of film noir conflates with Pop vibrancy… what could be tableaux of science fictional erotica mingle with a hyper-stylized account of domestic British vernacular; the visual language of a mid-twentieth century centrefold pin-up articulates icily de-personalized desire.
– Michael Bracewell, from his catalogue essay for (after)
On 23 November 2017 Lyndsey Ingram will launch a show of new work by the acclaimed British photographer Miles Aldridge. Entitled (after), the exhibition is a response by Aldridge to works by the artists Maurizio Cattelan, Harland Miller and Gilbert & George. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with an original essay by Michael Bracewell and continues until 5 January 2018. It forms part of the opening programme of Lyndsey Ingram’s new London gallery.
Aldridge is a photographer who is well known for staging elaborate mise-en-scènes that have an icily erotic, film noir quality. Long interested in art history, his highly stylized work draws inspiration from representations of the female nude in art, as well as in pulp fiction and pin-ups. As Aldridge states: ‘In my work there is always a push and pull between high and low art.’
The idea for this show – and for the concept of making work ‘after’ that of other artists – was born when Maurizio Cattelan invited Aldridge to stage a photo shoot in his exhibition Not Afraid of Love at La Monnaie in Paris in 2016. Aldridge spent the night in the museum with Cattelan creating his response to Cattelan’s work in his own visual language: bold, statuesque, Valkyrie-like nudes that seem both to haunt and dominate Cattelan’s sculptures of the pope, Hitler and horses in the rococo interiors.
Later, while Aldridge was talking to the painter Harland Miller, a long-time friend, Miller mentioned that his work was partly inspired by the Penguin paperbacks designed by Aldridge’s father, the acclaimed graphic designer Alan Aldridge. The two talked about inspiration and artistic interpretation and Aldridge hatched a plan to make images in response to Miller. In terms of technique, Aldridge was inspired by the screenprinting of photographs pioneered by Warhol and Rauschenberg in the 1960s and 70s, in particular by Rauschenberg’s collage-like print Signs (1970), which he saw in the recent exhibition on American prints at the British Museum. ‘As a photographer, I liked the idea of creating a screenprint from a photograph, of going from mass media to art. Lots of artists have used photographs in their prints but it is less common for photographers to repay the compliment, so to speak, and work with printmaking.’
Since Aldridge’s work is focused on artifice, he was especially drawn to photographing Gilbert & George, who have dedicated their life to being a living work of art: they always appear immaculate and in character and their London townhouse is a kind of permanent stage set. Aldridge created a vignette about the arrival of an androgynous young visitor coming to stay with the pair; the scenes are eerie and enigmatic but hint at an elusive narrative. For this project, Aldridge was drawn to the strangeness and appeal of vernacular photography. ‘The Gilbert & George series is a counterpoint to the other work in the show,’ says Aldridge.
Aldridge’s images ‘after’ Maurizio Cattelan are glossy C-print photographs. Those in response to Harland Miller are screenprints made to evoke the grainy Sunday newspaper supplements of the 1960s and 70s. His work in response to Gilbert & George uses the Victorian photogravure technique but with the addition of hand-painted blocks of pop colour. As Aldridge comments: ‘I am responding to these three different artists not just visually but texturally by using photographic images to create different kinds of prints.’
Aldridge sees (after) as a way to assert the complex nature of the photographic image in the age of the i-Phone. ‘Today anybody can take a good photograph so what does the medium mean today,’ he asks. ‘What about going out of your comfort zone as a photographer and pushing the camera to the limit? In this show I am thinking about how photographic images have been consumed and asking the question: do they have to be photographs? I have never seen photography as simple. I like the formal mise-en-scène. I think that fiction and theatricality can be more truthful than documenting reality, especially in this age of fake news.’
Notes for Editors:
Miles Aldridge Biography
Miles Aldridge was born in London in 1964. He studied at Central St. Martins and after graduating worked briefly as an illustrator before coming to photography. His photographs have appeared in museum and gallery exhibitions worldwide including in 2013 a major retrospective of his work entitled I Only Want You to Love Me in 2013 at Somerset House. In 2014 he was invited by Tate Britain to create a photographic installation entitled Carousel II as a response to Mark Gertler’s 1916 painting, Merry-go-Round. There are several monographs on his work, including Pictures for Photographs (2009), Other Pictures (2012); and his most recent book Please return Polaroid (2016) that chronicles his creative process through the use of Polaroids. He has works in the permanent collection of The National Portrait Gallery and The V&A in London and the ICP in New York.
About Lyndsey Ingram
Lyndsey Ingram is delighted to announce the launch of her gallery’s first permanent space at 20 Bourdon Street in London’s Mayfair, just north of Berkeley Square, opening 7 November 2017.
The gallery is solely dedicated to original prints and works on paper by important post-war and contemporary artists, and will stage an exhibition program of three to four museum-quality shows per year. For information on current and forthcoming shows, please see www.lyndseyingram.com.
The gallery handles graphic work by artists such as Andy Warhol, Wayne Thiebaud, Ellsworth Kelly, Donald Judd, Frank Stella, David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Peter Doig and Grayson Perry. The gallery also works with contemporary artists Harland Miller, Miles Aldridge, Jane Hammond and Sarah Graham.
Lyndsey Ingram participates in major international art fairs, including The Armory Show New York, Masterpiece London, Art Miami, and the London Original Print Fair.