In the fall of 2013, Maisel was commissioned to photograph the city of Toledo, Spain, for ToledoContemporánea, an exhibition commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of the painter El Greco. After completing the Toledo works, Maisel set to work on The Fall, depicting landscapes between Toledo and Madrid that have been impacted by industrial use, rapid development, and financial crisis. From the silvery extraction zones in Borox and the crosshatched fields in Fuensalida to the abandoned residential construction sites in Vicalvaro, Maisel’s powerful series conveys a sense of striking beauty and its inevitable decay. With their intersecting planes and muted palettes, Maisel’s painterly abstractions may suggest the alien, cubist landscapes of Picasso and Braque, if suggestive of landscapes at all. As Maisel explains, the making of this work was imbued with a sense of “the moment in one’s life when things begin to fall away.” It is ultimately toward this moment—writ large—that the exhibition and its title will point viewers as they fluctuate between visual pleasure and unease.
Haines Gallery, San Francisco
49 Geary Street Fifth Floor, San Francisco CA 94108