morninglite

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FMA-252

on December 2, 2011

In Florian Maier-Aichen’s exhibition, the artist continues to sublimate the rigid constraints of conventional landscape photography, contextualizing his imagery according to the constant tension between its specificity and theatricality.

Often using elevated perspectives as a starting point, Maier-Aichen reconfigures elements of the landscape into a new kind of formalism. Incorporating the hidden beauty in the utilitarian model of pioneer photographs with the gestural beauty of natural line and separation, the in-camera framing and effected montage of his subjects become symbiotic. An untitled image taken near Andermatt in the Swiss Alps imagines a plow as a paintbrush, tearing into the negative space of the snow covered alpine pass. The antiquated notion of photography as document ebbs into larger notions questioning rationalism versus romanticism, and how machines relate to nature. In an image the dry, topographic efficacy of the vantage point gives way to an almost cubist study of form as layers of earth are shown to ripple in and out of themselves.

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