Florian Maier-Aichen at 303 Gallery

Art Scene

Florian Maier-Aichen at 303 Gallery

In the exhibition, Florian Maier-Aichen, at 303 Gallery, Maier-Aichen employs both old and new photographic tropes that are disparate in subject matter, yet linked by their vibrant use of color and large scale format. Two distinct styles of work are on view, one that deals in abstraction and one that engages traditional landscape photography. The smallest image at 52 ⅝” x 67 ⅛” is as equally arresting as its larger counterparts that max out at 103 ⅝” x 76”. The grand scale of the images enhances the experience of Maier-Aichen’s majestic landscapes shot at elevated distances, and the wild scribbling of hundreds of lines found in his abstract, hybrid photograph / paintings.

© Florian Maier-Aichen, courtesy of 303 Gallery, New York.

What distinguishes the work from other landscape photography, or the chaotic drawings of a child, is Maier-Aichen’s conscious choice to stray from normative photographic techniques. The landscape photographs are enhanced by adding color where it normally would not be found, and the abstract works use the post production lasso tool, often used in retouching digital images, as a paintbrush.

© Florian Maier-Aichen, courtesy of 303 Gallery, New York.

Maier-Aichen’s landscape photographs insert vibrant shades of red, blue and green color into filtered clouds, ocean spray, mist, and rippling waterways. The landscapes are not random, and are linked to historically significant landscape photography, however, in Maier-Aichen’s 21st century interpretation, an ethereal quality exists. The images may leave viewers questioning whether his manipulation of color is technical studio work, or a remarkable capturing of a rare instance of solar flare splitting up the color spectrum of cosmic light. They are breathtaking, and for anyone interested in the physics of the universe, the atmospheric space in each image will ignite the imagination.

© Florian Maier-Aichen, courtesy of 303 Gallery, New York.

Maier-Aichen’s abstract works, a new series titled “Lasso Paintings,” create a different type of universe, perhaps one that pushes the boundaries of post-production digital technology into more playful terrain. The photographs / paintings are a free form, gestural potpourri of colored lines, squiggles, and scribbles that at first glance could bring to mind both Cy Twombly and a second grader. However, upon closer view, the balance between colors and the outlining of color swerves with black or white lines on either side, give a uniformity to the work that creates an overall cohesiveness in lieu of chaos. There is a dimensionality to the work as the lines receded into the background and frolic in the foreground. Magic markers and comic book illustrations also come to mind.

© Florian Maier-Aichen, courtesy of 303 Gallery, New York.

Maier-Aichen’s transformation of familiar photographic tools and techniques is undoubtedly both a thought provoking and enjoyable gateway to the endless possibilities of the imagination, as well as science.

© Florian Maier-Aichen, courtesy of 303 Gallery, New York.

Florian Maier-Aichen at 303 Gallery is on view until 12/22/17.