David Maisel
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All images are courtesy and copyright of the artist

David Maisel: History's Shadow
Nazraeli Press, Fall 2011
Includes an original short story by Jonathan Lethem inspired by Maisel's images.


David Maisel was born in New York City in 1961. He received his BA from Princeton University, and his MFA from California College of the Arts, in addition to study at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Maisel was a Scholar in Residence at the Getty Research Institute in 2007, and an Artist in Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts in 2008. He was appointed a Trustee of the Headlands Center for the Arts in 2011. Maisel has been the recipient of an Individual Artist’s Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and an Investing in Artists Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, and has been shortlisted for the Prix Pictet Award in Photography and the 2009 Alpert Award in the Visual Arts.

Maisel’s aerial images 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. Renowned curator and critic Robert Sobieszek wrote about his work, “Maisel has succeeded in mapping the fictive terrains of the unconscious, of nightmares and hallucinations. He has also used the camera’s objectifying optics to form cartographies of the irrational and the perverse, the preconscious and the primordial, the apocalyptic.”

His work has been exhibited internationally, including Infinite Balance: Artists and the Environment (Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, 2011); Imagination Earth (Seoul Arts Center, 2011); Imaging a Shattering Earth: Contemporary Photography and the Environmental Debate(Museum Of Contemporary Art, Toronto, and the National Gallery of Art, Ottawa, 2008); Dark Matters: Artists See the Impossible (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, 2007), and Ecotopia; the Photography Triennial (International Center of Photography, New York, 2006). In recent years he has shown at the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT), and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles), among many other venues.

Maisel’s photographs are included in many public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Victoria & Albert Museum; the National Gallery of Art; the J. Paul Getty Museum; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; the Santa Barbara Museum of Art; the Yale University Art Gallery; the Nevada Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others. His work has been the subject of four previous monographs, including The Lake Project (2004), Oblivion (2006), Library of Dust (2008), and History’s Shadow (2011).


For print sales, please contact galleries currently listed on the artist's website: www.davidmaisel.com