Miles Coolidge



Miles Coolidge was born in 1963 in Montreal. He received a BA from Harvard University in 1986 and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia in 1992. He then attended the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in Germany, where he studied under the photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher. Garage Pictures (1992), his first work following graduate school, consisted of large-scale photographs of elevator interiors that recalled the Bechers’ penchant for typological categorization. He continued to investigate functional social spaces in the series Safetyville (1994), in which he photographed a one-third-scale model of an American town built in 1984 to educate children about traffic safety. In the Central Valley series (1998), the artist reduced panoramic California landscape photographs to thin strips ten inches high and ten feet long. For Ancient History (2001), he crafted a grid of 160 inkjet prints of old postcards of Native American burial mounds, juxtaposing these images with panoramic views of golf courses built upon such mounds in Louisiana and Alabama. His Drawbridges series (2003) was comprised of a suite of nine photographs of South Florida drawbridges. For Street Furniture, a series initiated in 2006, Coolidge photographed the sofas, lamps, and mattresses discarded on nearby curbs and lawns; each domestic cast-off left tilted against trees or signposts serves as the central protagonist whose off-kilter alignment dictates the image’s orientation.

Coolidge has had solo exhibitions at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia (1992), Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies (1994), Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe (2001), and Harwood Museum of Art in Taos, New Mexico (2004) among others. He has also appeared in many group shows, including Stills: Emerging Photography in the 1990s at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (1997), Pop Surrealism at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut (1998), Picturing Modernity at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1998), Supermodel at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams (2000), Moving Pictures at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2003), Austrian Triennial on Photography in Graz (2003), Only Skin Deep at the International Center of Photography in New York (2003), Modern Photographs from the Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (2006), and From Close to Home at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (2007). In addition, he has received grants from DAAD (1993–94) and the City of Los Angeles (1998–99). He lives and works in Los Angeles.


Public Art and Design By This Artist

"Instead of a Bridge"