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Artist's Opening Reception: Alex Prager at M+B Gallery

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2013

Face in the Crowd

Exhibition Dates:
January 25 - March 8, 2014

Artist's Opening Reception:
Saturday, January 25
6:00 - 8:00 pm

M+B Gallery celebrates Alex Prager's latest and most complex work to date Face in the Crowd; the work is also being shown at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and includes 29 photographs and 4 films by the Los Angeles-based artist. Prager is known for her drama and theatrics, for the tension in her work, and her almost uncanny use of color. While she has explored post-war American archetypes, including burlesqued female characters that draw from classic Hollywood, fashion, advertising, and iconic documentary photography these new works engage plural open-ended narratives. They show both the mass and the individual within; the connections between figures and their isolation are both palpable sensations.

Intricate frames are both subtle and over-saturated with activity. Our eye searches for a resting place but is unsatisfied and keeps navigating the thick seas of bodies in such local as an airport terminal, lobby, beach, and movie theater. Faces, gestures, glances, and micro-interactions all keep our eye flowing through the image and, captivated by deeper searching, we find ourselves locked in place. The large scale of the work acts with their drama to implicate our viewing. We literally are drawn into the images and are affected by their swarming crowds. We engage themes of public and private space and sense the limbo of anxiety that exists between the need for personal safety and desire to belong to the mass. In either case we are destabilized but dazzled. The scope of the project is massive- Prager gathered and directed hundreds of costumed actors into specially designed sets and shot at surprising angles. The series was inspired by personal experience; Prager admits to being fascinated by "being involved in other people's lives accidentally," and here she plays out the drama of fleeting but potent interaction.

For more information on the gallery exhibition, please visit M+B Gallery

More on the Corcoran Gallery of Art's exhibition.

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