Opening reception: Saturday, November 15, 6–8pm
Blum & Poe is pleased to announce an exhibition of new photographs by Florian Maier-Aichen, marking the artist's fifth solo presentation with the gallery. Maier-Aichen captures a distinct sense of time, place, and memory in his photographs, connecting viewer and subject through expansive aerial views and analogue digital abstractions. The works present a seamless world comprised of fact and fiction, of the unadulterated and the manipulated, and of the sensational and the enhanced mundane. The poetic nature and monumentality achieved in these images is a result of a range of techniques and processes rendered in both the field and the studio.
Maier-Aichen uses a combination of analogue and digital methods with technical aspects of photography to derive abstract compositions from multi-layered, constructed scenes. Swooping lines, which appear to be hand-drawn, are in fact analogue translations of digital scribbles. Conceived in the studio using basic tools – camera, lights, hand-painted cardboard foregrounds, colored backdrops, and transparent films – the artist intersperses intricate layers of media to create otherworldly images of experimental and painterly allure.
The astonishing aerial and landscape photographs originate from inspirational perspectives and locations informed by the history of photography and geographical exploration. They often incorporate handmade details to offset their heroic sense of perspective and tautological characteristics, which provide the viewer with a shift in awareness of time and place. For this exhibition, Maier-Aichen returns to some of the locations he visited upon his arrival in Los Angeles in 1999, such as in a negative image of the Los Angeles harbor reminiscent of 19th century photography, albeit with a modern and geometric twist. In another new work of the Rhine River, Maier-Aichen pays homage to the German photographer August Sander and multi-media conceptualist Jack Goldstein, creating a cross–continental and –cultural sandwich. Whether implementing tricolor photography to recreate an image in the Swiss Alps by Eduard Spelterini, or utilizing a chemogram to add surprising disturbance in an otherwise documentary photograph, the world that Florian Maier-Aichen offers us contains contradictions in subtle multitudes, a place to rest, a sense of root.
Florian Maier-Aichen was born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1973. He studied at the School of Photography and Film, University for Gothenburg, Sweden and the University of Essen, Germany before earning his M.F.A from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid. His work is included in the public collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Denver Museum of Art, Denver; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. The artist lives and works in Cologne, Germany and Los Angeles, California.