Alex Prager: The Mountain

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LA photographer and filmmaker Alex Prager opens a show of new work at Lehmann Maupin’s gallery in Cromwell Place today. The hyper-real images in Part One: The Mountain sees a shift away from the artist's stylised crowd scenes to focus instead on dreamlike portraits of individuals, frozen in motion. 

Speaking to the Financial Times, Prager says the works are a powerful way to represent the effects of the pandemic. “The idea of a mountain is of a primal place where we go when we are isolated and alone. It is representative of the out-of-control reckoning of life and love during the past two years, which have been transformative for everyone I know. It felt tone-deaf to do another crowd scene.” 

Prager cultivates an uncanny, dreamlike mood—an effect heightened by her use of timeless costuming and richly saturated colors that recall technicolor films, as well as the inexplicable happenings she depicts. Her meticulously crafted photographs are filled with hyperreal details, from signatures on the cast of a high school football player or bandage on the nose of a woman running in terror, to the face in the reflection of a handheld mirror or figure revealed to be a cardboard cutout, firmly locating Prager’s images in the real world and belying the sense of the surreal that often pervades her work. The protagonists in Prager's recent works appear to be falling, flying, or floating. The artist leaves that for us to decide. Each person has a story and more to tell, through a process Prager defines as s sort of death and rebirth.

To read more about the exhibition, please see here. The show will remain on view at Lehmann Maupin's space until 5 March. 

 

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