Virgin Mary. Supermarkets. Popcorn.
7 May – 10 October 2021
‘Miles sees a colour coordinated, graphically pure, hard-edged reality.’
– David Lynch
April 12 2021 – New York, New York | Fotografiska New York is proud to present Virgin Mary. Supermarkets. Popcorn. Photographs 1999 to 2020, a photographic exhibition by British artist and photographer Miles Aldridge.
Opening on Friday, May 7th at Fotografiska New York, the exhibition will be Aldridge’s first museum retrospective in the US, comprising 66 works spanning the artist’s career. The show draws on Aldridge’s highly composed and cinematically inspired tableaus, including his 2015 project (after Cattelan) in which the artist Maurizio Cattelan invited Aldridge to respond to his sculptures over the course of one night together in a Paris museum. Aldridge’s unique style is also applied to portraiture and his subjects include Marina Abramović, Gilbert and George, Sophie Turner, Viola Davis, Michael Fassbender, Donatella Versace and David Lynch.
An exhilarating ride through Aldridge’s universe, the show reflects on three strands of his colorful cosmos. Virgin Mary references the religious paintings by artists such as Caravaggio, who like Aldridge represent experiences in an artificial, almost cinematic manner through their use of dramatic lighting, costuming and staging. Supermarkets are a metaphor the consumer society; the hope of self-improvement through retail therapy. Lastly, Popcorn is a nod to the influence of cinema in Aldridge’s work and the many auteur directors such as Hitchcock, Lynch and Fellini, who serve as a source of inspiration for his style and approach. With so many diverse influences coming from the history of Cinema, when everything was still shot on analogue film, Aldridge likewise prefers to shoot on film rather than digital. Every print in the exhibition was captured on Kodak Colour Negative.
A recurring theme throughout Aldridge’s oeuvre is the false promise of luxury. Psychedelic interiors are furnished with the trappings of mid-century suburban comfort: gleaming kitchen appliances, candy coloured telephones, and well-groomed pets denote success. The images of domesticity are often undercut with a bittersweet edge; a personal reflection of Aldridge’s childhood memories of his mother after a shattering divorce.
Aldridge’s work conflates historic and modern motifs and makes subtle reference to the art historical canon. Only rarely does he allow the real world to encroach upon the imagined realm. Through his lens, even reality appears artificial.
Virgin Mary. Supermarkets. Popcorn. Photographs 1999 to 2020 is curated by Nadine Barth, barthouse Berlin, in collaboration with Johan Vikner, Director of Global Exhibitions at Fotografiska International. This installment marks the second iteration of the show which debuted at Fotografiska Stockholm in September 2020 and ran till March 2021. The exhibition has been made in close collaboration with the artist and his galleries; Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, Lyndsey Ingram Gallery, London, Christophe Guye Gallerie, Zurich, Reflex Gallery, Amsterdam, and Casterline Goodman Gallery, Aspen.