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Simon Aldridge (born London, 1974) is a post-conceptual artist working in New York City.
"Monotype Iteration 24" by Simon Aldridge (2015)

Education

Simon Aldridge was born in London, England. He attended Haberdashers' Aske's School and Winchester College. Aldridge graduated with a BSc from The Bartlett and an MA from Harvard University.[1]


Career
Early development

In 1995, Aldridge won the RIBA President's Medals Students Award, the highest prize offered by the Royal Institute of British Architects for a RIBA Part 1 project - the prize had previously been won by David Adjaye in 1993. From 1995-1996 Aldridge worked on a building site on the construction of the No. 1 Court (Wimbledon)[2] where he began developing artwork using construction materials, office photocopiers, and epson engineering plotters. In 1996 he was awarded a Kennedy Scholarship to study a Masters in Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and while there he studied with and was greatly influenced by the Swiss architect, Peter Zumthor.

Aldridge also met the artist Ellen Phelan, who had just been made the Chair of the Department Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University and through this connection he was able to study art at Harvard, and maintain an art studio in the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, the only building actually designed by Le Corbusier in the United States. There, he studied with Robert Storr (art academic), and was also influenced by lectures and studio visits by Brice Marden, Bruce Nauman, and Joel Shapiro. He began to develop his artistic style, mentored by Julian Lethbridge, who introduced him to Printmaking.
"Wall Ride by Simon Aldridge (2001)

Before graduating, Aldridge had in 1999 already taken a studio space in the Meatpacking District, Manhattan, in the same building as artist Matthew Barney. There, he began to make wall mounted scultpures out of construction materials and using industrial paint and printing techniques. These ‘Wallride’works were first exhibited in 2001 at Mark Pasek Gallery in the Lower East Side,[3] where Aldridge met and began collaborating with Wes Lang and FAILE (artist collaboration). Aldridge, Lang and Faile were all working with sampling and graffiti. Two books - ‘Orange’, and ‘Death’ were produced by FAILE (artist collaboration) and published as limited editions[4] featuring work by Aldridge.


Work

In 2001 Aldridge was a World Views Artist-in-Residence at the World Trade Center (1973–2001) where he had an art studio on the 91st Floor of Tower One together with Monika Bravo and 13 other artists. Aldridge shared his studio with Jamaican-American Michael Richards (sculptor) who died aged 38, in the World Trade Center in the September 11 attacks.[5]

After surviving the September 11 attacks Aldridge relocated his studio to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.[6] In 2002 then New Museum curator Anne Ellegood included Aldridge in ‘The Meaning of Style’ which also featured Steve Ellis (comics) and Robert Stone (architect), writing in the exhibition catalogue, “Simon Aldridge pushes conventional limitations of monochromatic painting and minimalist sculpture through forms that function as a hybrid of these media and are simultaneously imbued with content related to everyday street culture. His use of spray paint is seductive for its surprisingly variable surface texture while remaining, as the artist describes it, consistently 'atonal'. The painterly concerns of the medium are then meaningfully related to the subcultures of graphiti artists and even construction workers, who use these standardized materials on an ongoing basis.”[7]

Aldridge’s work was first shown with other post-conceptual artists Wade Guyton, Kelley Walker and Patrick Meagher (artist) in ‘Retrofit’ curated by Lauri Firstenberg at Lombard Freid Fine Arts, New York in 2002.[8] Firstenberg was at the time the curator of Artists Space and described Aldridge’s work - “Foregrounding architectural illusion, Aldridge produces a delicate balance between accident and intention, structure and agency, theoretical intervention and subjective aimlessness.”[9] At the close of 2002, Aldridge was included in Flash Art Magazine’s survey of ‘Contemporary Painting Today’.[10]
"Artificial Environments" installation by Simon Aldridge (1999)

In 2003 German art critic Daniel Marzona, author of Minimal Art,[11] and curator at MoMA PS1 included Aldridge in ‘Framing Architecture’, an exhibition which also included Wade Guyton, Terence Gower, Patrick Meagher (artist), and Anton Vidokle.

Aldridge had his second solo show in New York at Cohan and Leslie in Chelsea[12] in 2004.[13]


Exhibitions

Aldridge's work has been exhibited at the New Museum,[14] the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art,[15] SculptureCenter,[16] MoMA PS1[17] and the Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel, Germany.[18]


Awards

In 2001, Aldridge was a World Views Artist-In-Residence at the World Trade Center (1973-2001) in New York, and he was also the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. In 2002 his design for the Pentagon Memorial was shortlisted and exhibited at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.

RIBA - Bronze Medal for Part 1 Students - 1995[19]
Kennedy Scholarship to Harvard University - 1996
World Views Artist-In-Residence at the World Trade Center - 2001[20]
Pollock-Krasner Grant / Pollock-Krasner Foundation - 2001
Jury Selection, Pentagon Memorial Competition - 2002[21]
American Institute of Architects Alice Washburn Award - 2012

References

"Simon Aldridge". Nyartsmagazine.com. NYARTS Magazine.
Pearman, Hugh (2011). 61/11 BDP Continuous Collective. London: BDP. pp. 162–165. ISBN 978-0956352316.
Park, Jennifer (2001). "Simon Aldridge". Substancezine.
"FAILE". Lazarides Gallery. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
Schriber, Abbe. "Remembering Michael Richards". Studio Museum. Studio Museum Harlem. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
Aldridge, Simon (June 2002). "All Over My Body Inside My Head". NY Arts. 7 (6).
Ellegood, Anne (2002). "The Meaning of Style". Brooklyn Front Gallery.
Rothkopf, Scott (November 6, 2012). Wade Guyton OS. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art. p. 46. ISBN 978-0300185324.
Firstenberg, Lauri (2002). Painting as Paradox. New York: Artist's Space.
Gute, Charles (October 2002). "Focus Painting Part One - Contemporary Painting Today". Flash Art (226).
Marzona, Daniel (2009). Minimal Art. Taschen. ISBN 978-3836514064.
"Cohan and Leslie". Artifacts.net.
Haber, John (April 2004). "Remote Viewing". Haber Arts. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
Kocache, Moukhtar. Site Matters: The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's World Trade Center Artist Residency 1997-2001. Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. pp. 268–269. ISBN 0-9726973-1-4.
Basha, Regine. An Exchange with Sol Lewitt. MASS MoCA. p. 8. ISBN 9781932698527.
"Lucky Draw". SculptureCenter.org. SculptureCenter.
Kimmelman, Michael (Feb 21, 2003). "Matisse Picasso". New York Times.
Shirreff, Erin (2004). Site Matters. Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. p. 268. ISBN 0-9726973-1-4.
"Simon Aldridge wins RIBA". Building Design Magazine. December 15, 1995.
"Reverberations; Losing a Studio, but Not a Calling". The New York Times. September 30, 2001. Retrieved 18 April 2016.

"CNN-Pentagon Memorial". CNN. 2002.

Catalogues

Moukhtar Kocache and Erin Shirreff, New York, 2004 Site Matters: The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's World Trade Center Artist Residency 1997-2001, ISBN 0-9726973-1-4
Regine Basha, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, 2011 An exchange with Sol LeWitt, ISBN 978-1-932698-52-7

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