Habitat

     Shulamit Nazarian

     Los Angeles, CA

 

     Phillip Maisel

     September 14 - November 11, 2016

 

     Press Release:

 

     Shulamit Nazarian is pleased to present Habitat, an exhibition of recent works by San Francisco-based artist Phillip Maisel. Habitat marks the artist’s

     first solo exhibition in Los Angeles

     

     While rooted in language of photography, Maisel’s practice traverses sculpture, collage, and installation. Never fully resigning itself to a single

     medium, each piece meditates upon perception, while drawing on the framework of architecture and design.

     

     Maisel selects objects—building materials, studio supplies, and personal artifacts that are embedded with distinct histories of use—and meticulously

     arranges them into a temporary still life. In the controlled environment of the studio, Maisel photographs the tableau and makes subtle adjustments

     between each frame by repositioning, introducing, or extracting elements; he captures each intervention sequentially before finally dismantling the

     structures. The use of a digital camera provides the artist with an immediate view of the two-dimensional representation, and it is the flattened image,

     not the objects themselves, that then inform subsequent photographs. Presenting the works in grids and small groupings reveals the nuanced

     variations within each image.

     

     In many of the artist’s new works, a doubling of object and image occurs when Maisel collages the documented materials to the surface of the

     photographic print. The gesture complicates the relationship between representation and reality, asking the viewer to consider if image and material

     are distinguishable. At times, the methodology is extended through a physical intervention of surface, as Maisel cuts, bends, and folds the

     photographic paper.

     

     The exhibition takes its title from the Habitat 67, an experimental residential structure designed by Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie. Safdie’s

     method of design, both modular and repetitive, correlates with Maisel’s working process and iterative compositions. The term also evokes the

     domesticity of Safdie’s architectural space, and that of materials used in the construction of the Maisel’s assemblage-images. The root of the word

     “habitat” means to possess, or to be situated, echoing the viewer’s process of negotiating the relationship between the pictorial space and the

     physicality of the artwork’s surface.

     

    

 

 

     

 

     

     Selections from Stack V, 2014. Archival pigment prints, 21.5" x 17.5"

 

     

 

     

     Desert Hot Springs, 2016. Archival pigment prints, metal chain, filters, 30" x 20"

 

     

 

     

     Jeanne and Claude, 2016. Cut archival pigment prints, neutral density filter, 28" x 22"

 

     

     Jeanne and Claude (4008), 2016. Cut archival pigment print, 28" x 22"

 

     

     Jeanne and Claude (3983), 2016. Cut archival pigment print, 28" x 22"

 

     

     Jeanne and Claude (3943), 2016. Cut archival pigment print and neutral density filter, 28" x 22"

 

     

     Desert Hot Springs (4699_1), 2016. Archival pigment print and neutral density filter, 30" x 20"

 

     

     Desert Hot Springs (4699_2), 2016. Archival pigment print and metal chain, 30" x 20"

 

     

     Desert Hot Springs (4699_4), 2016. Archival pigment print, metal chain, and neutral density filter, 30" x 20"

 

     

     Desert Hot Springs (4846), 2016. Archival pigment print and colored filters, 30" x 20"