Program artist David Maisel will open a solo exhibition at the University of New Mexico Art Museum this Friday, September 12, 2014. Titled “David Maisel/ Black Maps: American Landscape and the Apocalyptic Sublime,” the show will survey four chapters of Maisel’s larger ongoing series titled “Black Maps.” The exhibition was curated by Lisa Tamiris Becker (Director, Center for the Humanities and the Arts) and Helmut Müller-Sievers (Eaton Professor of Humanities, University of Colorado Boulder). Says the university:
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 show will remain 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).