Until January 27, the MBAL, Museum of Fine Arts in Le Locle, Switzerland, offers a journey through contemporary creation, ranging from photography to video, from mural paintings to fabric sculptures. We chose two of the four participants: Alex Prager and Erik Madigan Heck. This is how Nathalie Herschdorfer, the director of the museum presents them.
Alex Prager – SILVER LAKE DRIVE
MBAL presents the first retrospective of one of the most emblematic artist of our time. Working between photography and film, Alex Prager (United States, 1979) has been developing a work for the last 10 years distinguished by its inimitable style. Her stagings, be they photographed or filmed, strike with the meticulous care with which they are realized. Hollywood is never far away for this Los Angeles artist, inspired by cinema and popular culture. The exhibition, which brings together her most important series, unveils a universe that combines drama, emotion and humor.
Los Angeles serves as both inspiration and backdrop to her compositions. We see female characters in strange scenes, in an atmosphere which is as intriguing as it is seductive. Self-taught, Alex Prager develops all her projects in complex sets, often using hundreds of extras in order to create a real living tableau where each character, as lost in his own thoughts, appears with the same clarity. Designed with a great attention to detail, these sets recreate different public places where artifice of the staging is inevitably betrayed by the presence of a lonely female figure, wandering in the crowd and isolated by anguish that belongs only to her. Five films complete the exhibition. The artist qualifies her immersive cinematic installations of ‘sensory versions integrals “of his photographs. At the same time a reflection of an era and timeless, this instantly recognizable aesthetic universe oscillates between fantastic and hyperrealism, a universe where the border between reality and fiction, superficiality and depth remains unclear.
Erik Madigan Heck – OLD FUTURE
Through the series Old Future, the American photographer Erik Madigan Heck (1983) explores in his images the intersections between photography and painting while scrambling genres, navigating between fashion, landscape and portrait. Along with a dazzling debut as a fashion photographer – he works for Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair or The New York Times Magazine – Madigan Heck develops from the beginning a photographic language singular which leads quickly to recognition in the world of art. Marked by romantic painters, impressionists and Nabis, the artist captures the essence of the paint through the lens of his camera photographic and opts for a subtle treatment of the colors he treats in flat or “pointillist”, creating both dreamlike and timeless. His commands for the world of fashion constitute a ground game that allows him to explore the multiple creative ways of his medium, the photography, while winking at the 20th century painters that he admires
Alex Prager – Silver Lake Drive
Erik Madigan Heck – Old Future
November 3rd – January 31st 2019
Musée des Beaux-Arts – Le Locle
CH-2400 Le Locle