Los Angeles, CA – Sam Lee Gallery is proud to present A Cavalier in Sight of a Village, a solo exhibition of color photographs by Los Angeles-based artist Alia Malley. The artist’s opening reception and book signing is Saturday, November 5, from 6 to 8 pm.
Alia Malley continues to work in the outskirts of the Los Angeles landscape. With this new series, she focuses primarily upon riders on horseback there—a subject so antithetical to what one would usually imagine of LA although this depiction is not uncommon throughout cinema and art history. Malley takes her cue here.
A Cavalier in Sight of a Village—consisting of 13 archival pigment prints—is like a nonlinear, photographic storyboard that filters classical, Western landscape painting sensibilities through a documentarian lens. Unlike previous work, Malley introduces the human figure into this series for the first time, creating images that are cinematic and painterly in scope and hint at an unspecific but implied narrative. The artist, inspired by Hollywood films such as Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974) and John Ford’s Stagecoach (1939) and Old Master paintings of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and John Constable, invents a world where reality and fiction conflate. The result is haunting and striking.
A limited edition, linen hardbound, 11x14” artist’s book with the same title is available in conjunction with the exhibition. It contains 32 pages in total with 13 color plates and the project statement by the artist.
Southland—Malley’s first series of landscape images taken throughout Los Angeles (2009)—premiered at the gallery in 2010 (exhibition catalog available). Recent awards for Southland include Dealer’s Choice, CENTER, Santa Fe, New Mexico and Merck Prize, Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie, Museum Künsterkolonie, Darmstädt, Germany (the series was also shown at these institutions).
Malley, born 1973 in La Jolla, California, and raised in Portland, Oregon, currently works and lives in Los Angeles. In 2010, she received her MFA from University of California, Riverside; in 1994, Malley earned her BA in critical studies in the School of Cinematic Arts at University of Southern California. Malley’s work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout the country including Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Indiana, Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, California, and Riverside Art Museum, California.
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