13 September 2011 — 29 October 2011
For his third exhibition at Baronian_Francey, Maier-Aichen continues his practice of picking apart and expanding notions of photographic representation. Many works in the show rely on a fully hybrid model of image production. Utilizing practices of photography, painting and drawing in equal measures has allowed the artist to explore the myth of image-making in pursuit of a new form of the ideal photographic document.
Their poetic nature and monumental status represent layers of media and processes, rendered in both the field and studio. Above all, the artist’s practice of image making is a subversive one, fully cognizant that only in the commingling of genres can an original view emerge. The images can originate from sources as varied as documentary or textbook photos to escapist landscape paintings. From there, the artist’s visual vocabulary and broad technical repertoire take over.
Florian Maier-Aichen’s defiant new works take aim at the characters of abstraction while expanding the photography of landscape.
Revisiting the American West in Der Spaziergang (Red, White and Blue), 2011, Maier-Aichen borrows the desert landscapes of cartoon animator and director Chuck Jones to fully engage the spiraling relationship between painting and photography. Using transparent cels, acrylic and watercolor, the constructed scene is finally registered to film on a copy stand.
The marriage of techniques, unique to traditional animation, is offset by the pronounced minimalist imagery of the circular form. Similarly, the painted triangular peaks of Österjön II, 2011, rising out of the dark waters like an iceberg or the last portion of a fatally wounded hull, are suspended in an interchange of form and meaning. In Ennis House, 2011, the artist’s drawn symbols gain playful buoyancy as balloons, or props liberated from a nearby film shoot. As their seemingly random orientation plots our gaze onto the Frank Lloyd Wright landmark, eclipsing Hollywood’s hallmarks, we are reminded most of the artist’s hand.
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, CA. He has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid and his work is included in such public collections as 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 the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. The artist lives and works in Cologne, Germany and Los Angeles, CA