Florian Maier-Aichen - profile, photography

Florian Maier-Aichen

Germany 1973


Florian Maier-Aichen
Florian Maier-Aichen
July 31, 2015

Florian Maier-Aichen is a German landscape photographer, whose images are created using a combination of computer editing and traditional photographic techniques. The photographer alters vast landscape compositions with a range of staged effects, such as double exposures and light leaks, and computer and hand adjustments in addition. His painterly landscapes reminiscent early photography and German Romantic paintings.

Florian Maier-Aichen - Untitled, 2005, landscape photography
Florian Maier-Aichen – Untitled, 2005

Childhood and Early Years

Florian Maier-Aichen was born in 1973 in Stuttgart, Germany. With his father being an artist, Florian visited many museums as a kid, which all resulted in his later interest towards art. His family house was filled with different cameras while he was growing up. At one point, Maier-Aichen became interested in the art of photography and in the very process of image-making. The artist made his own small lab and darkroom, where he produced and printed his negatives.

UCLA: Moving to California

The crucial point in Maier-Aichen photographic career came after his decision to move and to study in California. After graduating from the University of Essen in Germany, and at the Hoegskolan for Fotografi och Film Gothenborg in Sweden, Florian enrolled into the University of California in Los Angeles – UCLA, where he later graduated with a MFA.

Maier-Aichen picked the UCLA primarily because of the artists who were teaching at the university and whom he admired, artist such as James Welling and Christopher Williams. He found the Los Angeles photography school interesting and innovative, opposed to German photography for which Florian thought that it started to repeat itself. One of the teachers from the university was John Baldessari, an artist who had an influential role in Maier-Aichen’s work and development. Baldessari encouraged Florian to investigate, explore and question things, and taught him an important lesson – to break rules and make mistakes.

Technique and Process: Built-In Mistakes

Florian Maier-Aichen usually works with large format cameras. He is not working in series – every image is unique and the scale and size of its resulting print is determined individually. Often the errors occur and things go wrong, like the camera leaks or the film is too old or the lab might make mistakes. Florian appropriated these mistake-factors into his photography with the help of computer, introducing imperfections and illogical elements, and it became one of the characteristics of his work.

Florian Maier-Aichen - Untitled, 2013 (chromogenic print)
Florian Maier-Aichen – Untitled, 2013 (chromogenic print)

Florian’s practice is consisted of combining photography and drawing, by altering finished photographic images and adding fictional elements, varying colors, and changing the original visual outcome. Because Maier-Aichen does not prefers to see photography as a super-realistic medium, the end result is usually very far from the initial precise and rigorous photograph.

Florian mostly depicts landscapes of the American West and Europe, such as the Hollywood Hills, snowy mountains, and fjords. Closer to idealized drawing than documentation, images are often shot from an elevated viewpoint. Drawing influence from the work of the pioneer photographers of the nineteenth century, Maier-Aichen’s revives the artistry and alchemy of early photography, working on black-and-white, color, infrared, and tricolor films.

Florian Maier-Aichen - Untitled, 2009, landscape photography, black and white
Florian Maier-Aichen – Untitled, 2009

Exhibitions and Whitney Biennial Participation

Florian Maier-Aichen’s work has been featured in many group and solo exhibitions throughout the US and Europe. In 2006, he participated in the Whitney Biennial. Florian’s art is included in several important public collections, such as the Denver Art Museum, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Saatchi Gallery in London. The artist is represented by two galleries – Blum & Poe Gallery in Los Angeles, California, and 303 Gallery in New York City.

Florian Maier-Aichen is currently based between Cologne, Germany and Los Angeles, US.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Perfect Likeness: Photography and CompositionHammer Museum, Los AngelesGroup
2015Duddell’s Presents: ICA Off-site: Hong KongeseDuddell’s, Hong Kong, ChinaGroup
2014Florian Maier-AichenBlum & Poe, Los Angeles, CASolo
2014Florian Maier-Aichen303 Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2014Night in DayLos Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013Florian Maier-AichenGagosian Gallery, Hong Kong, ChinaSolo
2013Florian Maier-AichenGagosian Gallery, London, UKSolo
2012Take Off Your Silver Spurs and Help Me Pass the TimeGalerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, AustriaGroup
2012Natural HistoryCarnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA Group
2011Florian Maier-AichenBaronian Francey, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2011Florian Maier-Aichen303 Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2011Florian Maier-AichenBlum & Poe, Los Angeles, CASolo
2011Fotofestival Mannheim Ludwigshafen Heidelberg, 2011Kunsthalle MannheimGroup
2011Fotofestival Mannheim Ludwigshafen Heidelberg, 2011Kunstverein Ludwigshafen, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, LudwigshafenGroup
2011Fotofestival Mannheim Ludwigshafen Heidelberg, 2011Kunstverein Heidelberg, Sammlung Prinzhorn, Heidelberg, Germany Group
2011The Smithson EffectUtah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, UTGroup
2010The Artist’s MuseumThe Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2010Summer Show: Mike Kelley, Florian Maier-Aichen, and Anselm ReyleGagosian, New York, NYGroup
2010Nuit BlanchePatricia Low Contemporary, Gstaad, SwitzerlandGroup
2010Photo Show 2010Galleri K, Oslo, NorwayGroup
2010CrashGagosian Gallery, London, UKGroup
2009Florian Maier-Aichen303 Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2009Snow MachineGagosian Gallery, London, UK Solo
2009Dark SummerGalerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
2009Nothing is permanent: Albert Baronian, profession galeristeLa Centrale Electrique, European Center for Contemporary Art, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
2009Collecting History: Highlighting Recent AcquisitionsMuseum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2009Wall Rockets: Contemporary Artists and Ed RuschaFLAG Art Foundation, New YorkGroup
200915th Anniversary Inaugural ExhibitionBlum & Poe, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2008Florian Maier-AichenBaronian-Francey, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2008PhotoEspana 08: Florian Maier-AichenMuseo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, SpainSolo
2008For What You Are About to ReceiveGagosian at Red October Chocolate Factory, Moscow, RussiaGroup
2008Damaged RomanticismBlaffer Gallery, Houston, TX Group
2008to-Night: Contemporary Representations of the NightHunter College Art Galleries, New YorkGroup
2007MOCA Focus: Florian Maier-AichenMuseum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CASolo
2007Mario Testino: At HomeYvon Lambert New York, New York, NYGroup
2007Three for Society303 Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2007LA DesireGalerie Dennis Kimmerich, Dusseldorf, GermanyGroup
2006Florian Maier-AichenBlum & Poe, Los Angeles, CASolo
2006Florian Maier-Aichen303 Gallery, New York, NY Solo
2006Particulate MatterMills College Art Museum, Oakland, CAGroup
2006USA TODAY: New American ArtSaatchi Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UKGroup
2006Whitney BiennialWhitney Museum of American Art, New York, NYGroup
2005Florian Maier-AichenBaronian-Francey, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2005The Blake Byrne CollectionMuseum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2005Photography 2005Victoria Miro Gallery, London, UKGroup
2005Set Up: Recent Acquisitions in PhotographyWhitney Museum of American Art, New York, NYGroup
2005Photo London Art FairLondon, UKGroup
2004The Bridges of CologneBlum & Poe, Los Angeles, CASolo
2004Kommando Pfannenkuchen: Deutsche und Amerikanische KunstDaniel Hug Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2003Florian Maier-AichenGallery Min Min, Tokyo, JapanSolo
2003Gilbert & George, Cristina Iglesias, Mike Kelley, George Lappas, Florian Maier-Aichen, Nikos Navridis, Tony Oursler, Thaddeus StrodeBernier - Eliades, Athens, Greece and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2002Florian Maier-AichenBlum & Poe, Santa Monica, CASolo
2002Constructed Realities, Grand ArtKansas City, MOGroup
2002Anti-Form: New Photographic Work from Los AngelesSociety for Contemporary Photography, Kansas City, MOGroup
2002Ich ging im Walde so fuer mich hin: Markus Amm, Florian Maier-Aichen, Gondi Norola, Nicole WermersGalerie Borgmann Nathusius, Cologne, GermanyGroup
2001Jennifer Bornstein, Mark Grotjahn, Dave Muller, Florian Maier-AichenBlum & Poe, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2001Snapshot: New Art From Los AngelesUCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2001Vision Embraces the WorldEcho Park Projects, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2000Can (Remix)Blum & Poe, Santa Monica, CAGroup
1999GesundheitKunsthaus Essen, Essen, GermanyGroup
1998stART 98Billboard Project Stockholm, SwedenGroup
1997Group ShowGaleri Gufot, Gothenburg, SwedenGroup