Category Archives: Miles Coolidge

Miles Coolidge >< Drawbridges >< March – April 2004


Miles Coolidge

March 5 – April 24, 2004

Lisa Ruyter is pleased to present Miles Coolidge’s series of drawbridge photographs from March 5 to April 24, 2004. The artist will be present for an opening reception on March 25th from 19-21 hr.

Coolidge has photographed raised drawbridges throughout Southern Florida. The result is a roadway grid, raised to square with the picture plane of the photograph itself. The depth and perspective the lowered roadway would have indicated, is destroyed and replaced by the formal, self-referencing picture of the roadway surface. Coolidge has found these temporary, (existing only for a moment as recreational boats pass underneath) industrial monoliths in the heart of some of the most kitschy American suburbs. The images in this series are impenetrable with all the weight of modernist picture-making behind it, yet the viewer is aware that this is only a momentary statement, as the bridge will again lower to let those in the perspective of the viewer pass through.

Coolidge consistently maintains a conceptual methodology in all of his series. Previous work has included photographs of empty elevators, suburban garages, a town built to 1/3 actual scale (‘Safetyville’), and temporary housing for farming workers.

These are all spaces that are defined by human use. Coolidge deliberately makes quasi-photographs, from quasi-architectural spaces. The meaning of Coolidge’s pictures is shaped in between what is visible, and what is left out, between form and content.

Miles Coolidge was born in Montreal, Canada and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He studied at the California Institute of the Arts and at Kunstakademie Dusseldorf with Berndt and Hilla Becher.

Coolidge has shown with Casey Kaplan Gallery in New York, Galerie Capitain in Cologne, ACME in Los Angeles, and at the Orange County Museum in Newport Beach, California. He has participated in many group shows internationally, including the MCA in Chicago; Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland; Nederlands Foto Instituut, Rotterdam; and Nikolai Contemporary Art Center in Copenhagen.