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

On view in the Main Gallery and Clinton Adams Gallery
September 13 – December 20, 2014
with an opening reception, Friday, September 12, 6 – 8 pm
preceded by a members’ preview at 5 pm*

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

An exhibition organized by the CU Art Museum, University of Colorado Boulder

DAVID MAISEL/BLACK MAPS is a solo exhibition 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.

The UNM Art Museum presentation of the David Maisel/Black Maps touring exhibition also features a special selection of the artist’s toned gelatin silver prints from the 1980s. These early aerial photographs reveal the artist’s longstanding exploration of open-pit mines across the American West. The special addition to the exhibition is curated by Lisa Tamiris Becker and is on view in the West gallery.

*members’ previews are open to Sustaining Members and higher of the UNM Art Museum

<strong>David Maisel</strong>, American (b. 1961); <em>Terminal Mirage 5</em>, 2003; pigment print, 2012; 48 x 48 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.

<strong>David Maisel</strong>, American (b. 1961); <em>The Lake Project 15</em>, 2002; pigment print, 2012; 48 x 48 inches; A/P; Image courtesy of the artist; © David Maisel.

David Maisel, American (b. 1961); The Lake Project 15, 2002; pigment print, 2012; 48 x 48 inches; A/P; Image courtesy of the artist; © David Maisel.

<strong>David Maisel</strong>, American (b. 1961); <em>Oblivion 15N</em>, 2004; pigment print, 2012; 40 x 40 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.

Main Image:

David Maisel, American (b. 1961); The Lake Project 3, 2001 (detail); pigment print, 2012; 48 x 48 inches; A/P; Image courtesy of the artist; © David Maisel.