Alex Prager

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Alex Prager
Born (1979-11-01) November 1, 1979 (age 40)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Known forPhotography, Filmmaking
AwardsEmmy, London Photography Award, FOAM Paul Huf Award

Alex Prager (born November 1, 1979) is an American art photographer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles.


Prager began her photography practice after viewing an exhibition of William Eggleston's at the Getty Museum which was on view between 1999-2000.[1] Her staged color photographs are described by Ken Johnson as being influenced by Cindy Sherman, Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Douglas Sirk.[2] MoMA curator Roxana Marcoci has described Prager's work as "intentionally loaded," saying "it reminds me of silent movies— there is something pregnant, about to happen, a mix of desire and angst."[3] Michael Govan the director of LACMA has said that "Prager's photographic and filmic compositions, like Eggleston's photographs, Alfred Hitchcock's films, and Edward Hopper's paintings, reveal the extraordinary lurking within the ordinary. Wreaking havoc with our involuntary voyeurism and our tendency to leap to conclusions about people's characters based on the merest details of their appearances, Prager cues our own fantasies by representing her own."[4]

In 2005, Prager created a group of works, The Book of Disquiet, as an exhibition and joint publication with artist Mercedes Helnwein. She began to gain more attention after exhibiting Polyester in 2007, which focused on what is now described as her signature cinematic styled portraits set in Los Angeles. Her next series, The Big Valley, was shown in 2008 at Michael Hoppen Gallery in London and in 2009 at Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York. In 2010 Prager exhibited Week-End at M+B Gallery in Los Angeles, Yancey Richardson Gallery and Michael Hoppen Gallery where she debuted her first short film, Despair alongside a group of photographs. Despair was conceived in London during The Big Valley Exhibition, where viewers were inquiring what happened before and after to the subjects in her photographic work. The film starring Bryce Dallas Howard was a full-sensory version of Prager's photographs in motion, showing the before, now and after of one of her images. Her intention was to create pure, cinematic melodrama through the use of an array of artistic mediums – imagery, motion, color, sculpture, painting and sound.[5]Prager's Despair was included in Museum of Modern Art's exhibition "New Photography 2010"[6] where she was recognized as a notable emerging talent.

A pivotal moment for Prager came in 2011 when Kathy Ryan, director of Photography for The New York Times Magazine commissioned her to shoot 12, 1 minute films with some of 2011's stand-out film actors inspired by "cinematic villainy". Prager won an Emmy for her Touch of Evil short films.

In 2012, Prager addressed themes of disaster and spatial turbulence with the series Compulsion.[7] exhibited at M+B Gallery and Yancey Richardson Gallery. Prager's short film La Petite Mort starring French actress Judith Godreche with narration from Gary Oldman was shown alongside the body of work. The film was a "contemplation on death" and "a way for [her] to deal with the hopelessness [she] was feeling about the world. Creating a parallel universe where tragedies happen but with a sense of lightness as well."[8]

Prager's series, Face in the Crowd, debuted at Washington D.C.'s Corcoran Gallery of Art in 2013 followed by a solo exhibition at Lehmann Maupin in New York.[9]

Prager was commissioned by the Paris Opera in 2015 to create a film for 3e Scène. The film, La Grande Sortie, explores the tension between a performer's experience on stage and the audience watching. It stars Émilie Cozette and features leading dancer Karl Paquette dancing to an adapted score by Nigel Godrich. The film was produced by Jeremy Dawson. La Grande Sortie premiered at 3e Scène on September 15, 2015.[10] followed by solo exhibitions by Prager at Galerie des Galeries in Paris</ref> followed by solo exhibitions by Prager at Galerie des Galeries in Paris[11] and in 2016 at Lehmann Maupin in New York, alongside a new set of photographic works.[12]

In 2019 Prager exhibited her most autobiographical body of work to date at Lehmann Maupin, which included photographs and a new film, Play the Wind.[13]



  • Silver Lake Drive, Thames & Hudson (ISBN 0500544972)
  • La Grande Sortie, Lehmann Maupin (2016)(ISBN 9780692763025)
  • Face in the Crowd, Corcoran (2013) (ISBN 0615901743)
  • Compulsion, Michael Hoppen Gallery (2012) (ISBN 0615613055)
  • The Big Valley / Week-end, M+B and Yancey Richardson Gallery (2010) (ISBN 0615339182)





  1. ^ Davidson, Barbara (August 8, 2012). "reFramed: In conversation with Alex Prager". The Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ Ken Johnson (March 19, 2010), Aipad Photography Show New York The New York Times.
  3. ^ "Alex Prager". M+B.
  4. ^ "Michael Govan - Silver Lake Drive, 2018". Alex Prager Studio.
  5. ^ "Bryce Dallas Howard in "Despair"". Nowness online. Archived from the original on 2010-08-21. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  6. ^ "New Photography 2010 Alex Prager". Museum of Modern Art. Archived from the original on 2014-07-24. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  7. ^ Brown, Emma (29 March 2012). "Alex Prager Predicts Disaster". Interview Magazine. Archived from the original on 2014-05-17. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
  8. ^ "{{ ($ && $ ? $[$root.lang].socialTitle : $root.seo.pageTitle | translate }}".
  9. ^ "Face in the Crowd - Alex Prager - Exhibitions - Lehmann Maupin".
  10. ^ "La grande sortie - Alex Prager". Opéra national de Paris. Archived from the original on 2017-03-19. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  11. ^ a b "Alex Prager". Archived from the original on 2017-03-17.
  12. ^ Wilkinson, Isabel (September 8, 2016). "An Artist's Haunting Fantasy of the Paris Opera Ballet". The New York Times.
  13. ^ "Play the Wind - Alex Prager - Exhibitions - Lehmann Maupin".
  14. ^ a b "Alex Prager". November 30, 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-11-18. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  15. ^ "Alex Prager Predicts Disaster". Interview Magazine. 2011. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  16. ^ "Exhibition: Alex Prager, Mise-en-scène". Savannah College of Art and Design. July 27, 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-08-17. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  17. ^ "Staging Reality: Alex Prager's Timeless Faces in the Crowd". Time Magazine. November 19, 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-11-29. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  18. ^ "Alex Prager | NGV". Archived from the original on 2018-03-19. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  19. ^ "The Arts Club - Exhibitioninner". Archived from the original on 2015-10-04. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  20. ^ "Skirball Cultural Center presents Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950". 4 February 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-04-24. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  21. ^ "Alex Prager". M+B. Archived from the original on 2014-12-06. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-10. Retrieved 2015-11-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ "Top 10 Hong Kong Gallery Shows". 11 March 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  24. ^ "Alex Prager: Silver Lake Drive". The Photographers' Gallery. 2018-04-04. Archived from the original on 2018-06-15. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  25. ^ Musée des beaux-arts du Locle Archived from the original on 6 November 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^ "Alex Prager - Silver Lake Drive | Past exhibition". Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam.
  27. ^ "Welcome Home".
  28. ^ "Alex Prager directs Touch of Evil". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  29. ^ "Cate Blanchett Stars in "Uncanny Valley" By Alex Prager". W Magazine. Archived from the original on 6 November 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  30. ^ "We Won an Emmy – for Villainy!". The New York Times. October 2, 2012. Archived from the original on July 17, 2014. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  31. ^ "Alex Prager - Silver Lake Drive". Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam. Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  32. ^ "Alex Prager wins Foam Paul Huf Award 2012". Retrieved 2020-05-14.

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