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Exhibition /

DAVID MAISEL / BLACK MAPS: American Landscape and the Apocalyptic Sublime

February 9, 2013 - May 11, 2013

DAVID MAISEL / BLACK MAPS is a solo show surveying four chapters of Maisel’s larger ongoing series titled Black Maps. Composed of large-scale photographs, this exhibition leads the viewer on a hallucinatory journey through landscapes in the American West that have been transformed through the physical and environmental effects of industrial-scale water diversion projects, open-pit mineral extraction, and urban sprawl. Maisel’s powerful aerial photographs exist as aesthetic and political archives documenting the impact of both human consumption and inhabitation. More than mere records, these photographs evoke sublime beauty and apocalyptic destruction, positioning Maisel at the forefront of a complex new approach to framing and interpreting issues of contemporary landscape and culture. Maisel’s mineral-based, painterly color prints transform poisonous human-altered landscapes into subjects and objects of extreme beauty while simultaneously unveiling the magnitude of hidden ecological devastation that punctuates the vast interior of the American West, a space that is often represented in the visual, cinematic, and literary arts as endless and eternal.

Curated by Lisa Tamiris Becker, Director, CU Art Museum and Helmut Müller-Sievers, Director, Center for the Humanities and the Arts, Eaton Professor of Humanities, University of Colorado Boulder

This exhibition is generously supported in part by the HBB Foundation, the CU Art Museum benefactors and members, the CU Boulder Student Arts and Cultural Enrichment (ACE) fees, and by the Center of the American West. Additional support for the related artist/curatorial lecture and discussion was generously provided by the Center for Humanities and the Arts, University of Colorado Boulder and The Roser Visiting Artist Grant.


David Maisel, American (b. 1961)[+]
The Lake Project 17
2002
pigment print, 2012
48 x 48 inches

A/P Image courtesy of the artist © David Maisel

David Maisel, American (b. 1961)[+]
Oblivion 15N
2004
pigment print, 2012
40 x 40 inches

A/P Image courtesy of the artist © David Maisel

David Maisel, American (b. 1961)[+]
Terminal Mirage 5
2003
pigment print, 2012
48 x 48 inches

A/P Image courtesy of the artist © David Maisel