Aesthetics and Politics of Human-Altered Environments Explored in Irene Carlson Gallery Photo Exhibit

August 28, 2013 by University of La Verne

David Maisel’s career path wasn’t a clear trajectory. With a passion for architecture and photography, he often shifted his concentration between both areas during his college years.

After a photographic excursion to the Mount St. Helens volcano, his first time photographing from the air, he became captivated with the notion of how the earth can be transformed by human intervention.

"The Lake Project 20" - courtesy of David Maisel

A solo museum exhibition, David Maisel Black Maps: American Landscape and the Apocalyptic Sublime, organized by the CU Boulder Art Museum, is on display in the Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography now through October 11.

The exhibit features reflection essays by La Verne Professor of Biology Christine Broussard, and Assistant Professor of Sociology, Roy Kwon.

Maisel’s aerial photographs of environmentally impacted sites explore the aesthetics and politics of radically human-altered environments, framing the issues of contemporary landscape with equal measures of documentation and metaphor.

“My studies in architecture ultimately meant as much in formulating my artistic vision as my studies in photography or art history. They all built on each other. At the time, shifting back and forth between architecture and photography felt somewhat confusing; in retrospect, it seems to me now the best possible thing I could have done,” said Maisel.

Maisel’s work is the subject of a major new monograph from Steidl, titled, Black Maps: American Landscape and the Apocalyptic Sublime. The intent of this first installation is to complement the University of La Verne’s One Book, One University selection, “Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change,” by Elizabeth Kolbert. She will be on campus to present a lecture on September 25.

A graduate from Princeton and Harvard Universities, Maisel is a visual artist based in San Francisco and New York. He is the recipient of a 2011 grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, a 2008 Artist Residency from the Headlands Center for the Arts, and a 2007 Scholar/Artist Residency from the Getty Research Institute.

Maisel has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Opsis Foundation. He was appointed a Trustee of the Headlands Center for the Arts in 2011. His series Library of Dust was the subject of a symposium in 2009 at the New York Institute for the Humanities. Maisel’s works are in major public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Getty Museum, the V&A, and LACMA, among others. 

When: Exhibit August 26 – October 11, 2013

Coinciding Lecture by Elizabeth Kolbert: September 25.

Where: University of La Verne, Miller Hall, Irene Carlson Gallery, 1950 Third Street, La Verne, CA 91750.

Comments are closed.