Gallery artist David Maisel is the current focus of our Featured Works section of the website. In his new body of work, “The Fall,” Maisel has utilized the topography and geography of Spain as a way to engage in art historical, and sociopolitical narratives.
In Fall of 2013, Maisel was invited to Spain as part of the photographic project Toledo Contemporánea, in which twelve photographers were commissioned to create work about the Spanish city of Toledo as a celebration of the fourth centennial of the painter El Greco. Maisel’s work in his most recent body of work, titled “The Fall” is his response to the areas between the city of Toledo, which was once the cultural epicenter of Europe, and the much larger capital city of Madrid. In The Fall, one feels that the worlds of painting and photography have merged together. The series is based on three different areas of the Spanish landscape:
• Borox –strange, ashen landscapes in a mining and agricultural region of La Mancha. The soil is laden with the mineral borax, which gives a surreal, ashen quality; the landscape shines, almost like a grey sea in a desert.
• Vicalvaro – developments on the periphery of Madrid, where construction was halted after the economic collapse of 2008. The abandoned zones appear like the surreal aftermath of a bombed out city or an alien landing field.
• Fuensalida – croplands in the La Mancha region, gridded, crosshatched, and abstracted.
In addition to referencing the canon of abstraction and photography in this work, Maisel’s new works fit within his longstanding images of radically altered terrain. His hallucinatory worldview encompasses both stark documentary and tragic metaphor, and explores the relationship between nature and humanity today.
Maisel currently has works on view at the University of New Mexico Art Museum (NM) (Maisel will speak on his work on Tuesday, October 21, 5:30 PM at this location), the National Academy of Sciences (DC), and the Musée des Beaux-Artes de Bordeaux (France). For additional information about this artist, or works available, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.