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Wall Street International | Miles Aldridge (after)

“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))

 

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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.’

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