LOS ANGELES, CA.- ACME.
presents a solo exhibition of new photographs by Los Angeles based artist Miles Coolidge. The show will feature two new bodies of work: a single large-scale photograph titled Francis Gate, and a separate series of photographs, titled Coal Seam, Bergwerk Prosper-Haniel, depicting the interior of a German coal mine. Both new bodies of work capture early modes of industrialization that initiated the culture of modernity that continues to define our existence and affect our landscape.
Designed by James B. Francis in 1850, Francis Gate was built to protect the new industrial city of Lowell from being flooded by the Merrimac River, which provides water for the canal systems that powered its textile factories. Sluice gates at the facility regulate water entering the waterways. Before power from fossil fuels or electricity was available, water was used to power industry. The sluice building at Francis Gate is the place where water was converted from a natural resource to a productive force. An unintended consequence of this apparatus is the buildup of floating detritus in front of the sluice building, which has to be removed manually with a backhoe. Francis Gate is an image of the entirety of one year's debris buildup.
Whereas Francis Gate utilized hydro-power, coal is one of the other great energy sources of the Industrial Age. The second body of work consists of several sequential images titled Coal Seam, Bergwerk Prosper-Haniel. This suite shows an exposed seam of coal approximately 3,000 feet underground at the Bergwerk Prosper-Haniel Mine in Bottrop in the Ruhr Valley of Germany. It is worth noting that the pigment inks used in this suite of prints (from Epson's standard ink set) are almost entirely composed of carbon derived from coal.
Miles Coolidge (b. 1963, Montreal) received his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. This will be the artist's eighth solo exhibition at ACME. where he continues to explore mankind's imprint on the landscape. His work is included in many museum collections including the Albright-Knox Gallery, Baltimore Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Orange County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, among others.