All of the turbulent drama of humanity can found in the work of the American artist Alex Prager. From the aesthetic principals of Hollywood Cinema to the Universe of Fashion, the images of the photographer - on display at the Photographers’ Gallery in her first European retrospective - stun the public with a surprising multitude of emotional states and narrative possibilities. Thanks to her vision, which is cinematographic as much as it is photographic, Prager portrays the spaces in which people find themselves, often unwillingly. Streets, beaches, airport waiting areas, and theatres are the sets over which an aerial perspective gives the viewer a spy’s view in order to best observe the subjects in her photograms. The female subjects, often captured in close-ups which emphasise exaggerated emotions, then squeezed into wantonly stylised clothes along with improbable hairstyles, have a central role in the work of Prager. The more than 40 photos in the itinerary entitled Silver Lake Drive are displayed next to recent video and film works. In one quick glance, visitors can take in the artificiality of the Hollywood Cinema of the 1950s, the alienating atmosphere of the paintings of Hopper, the indifferent universe of Larry Sultan, and the melodramatic approach of Todd Haynes. And, of course, the constant references to the images of Hitchcock, in a context in which the players and heroes never seem quite safe.
Between Heaven and Earth, the Magic of Luchita Hurtado
Among the most influential personages of 2019 according to Time Magazine, the ninety-eight-year-old painter comes to London for her first-ever monographic exhibition in Europe. Her secret? “Never say no to life.”