Thursday, August 14, 2014

Florian Maier-Aichen @ 303 Gallery

Oh, this is not good. There is a large landscape photograph, where what you would assume should be green is a reddish pink, looks as if it was photographed with infra-red film and/or by the now widely exhibited Richard Mosse. The work in the show is so scattershot that I assumed it was a group show featuring Richard Mosse, but no, it is all definitely just the work of Florian Maier-Aichen, who certainly owes Mr. Mosse an apology if not a part of the sale price. This is the most painterly of Maier-Aichen’s work. Much of the show is digital c-prints that in no way look photographic. The images appear to be straight-on abstract paintings, which I guess is a nice trick, but at some point that sleight of hand becomes so convincing that it is no longer a trick. I mean, if they look like paintings and are under glass and you have to check the price list for materials, why not just make a painting? And if they are evaluated as a paintings, they are only okay: contemporary and hip but with out being terribly challenging, the images have a nice palate that works well with the few more traditional photographs. It would just be nice to have more consistency in shows no a days. I very much feel that in a few years these random Ethridge-esque shows will all look like a dated 70’s issue of Aperture, where we will forget this ever happened and art historians are gonna have to build entire survey shows to give context to why everything looked like an ill-conceived group show. The green valley landscape basking in rainbow light is a knockout, however. I just wish it didn’t remind me so much of Richard Mosse’s work from earlier this year at Jack Shainman.

(So apparently Florian Maier-Aichen beat Mosse to the punch with infrared landscapes, but for my money Mosse now owns infrared photography.)

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