David Maisel      Works  |  Bio  |  Press  |  Exhibition Views


American, b. 1961
Lives and works in San Francisco, California

David Maisel’s carefully constructed, reality-based photographs chronicle the complex relationships between natural systems and human intervention. His investigative process and project-based practice illuminate the notion of place—through observation of natural phenomenon, the effects of the built environment, and what is revealed by societal detritus. His predominantly large-scaled photographs have demonstrated the physical transformation of the landscape caused by industrial efforts. By implementing an aerial perspective, Maisel observes and abstracts the landscape into photographic evidence that would otherwise be unattainable.

Maisel’s photographs, multi-media projects, and public installations have recently been exhibited at Portland Art Museum, OR (2008); Somerset House, London, UK (2013); American Academy, Rome, Italy (2014); National Gallery of Art, Washington DC (2015); San Jose Museum of Art (2015); ZKM Museum, Karlsruhe, Germany (2016); HALLE 14 Center for Contemporary Art, Leipzig, Germany (2016); Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University, CA; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA (2016); Denver Art Museum, CO (2018); and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea (2018). His works are included in many public collections, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C; Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK; George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MN; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX. 

Maisel was a Scholar in Residence at the Getty Research Institute, and Artist in Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2018, as well as am Individual Artist’s Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (1990) and Investing in  Artists Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation (2011). His work has been the subject of six monographs: The Lake Project (Nazraeli Press, 2004), Oblivion (Nazraeli Press, 2006), Library of Dust (Chronicle Books, 2008), History’s Shadow (Nazraeli Press, 2011), Black Maps (Steidl, 2013), and Mount St Helens: Afterlife (Ivorypress, 2018). His latest monograph, Proving Ground, is slated for release by Radius Books in 2019/20.