Opening this Friday, AdventureLand Works on Paper features a collaboration between Ati Maier and Chris Pfister. Following are artist statements from Maier and Pfister.
“As an aesthetic explorer, I use painting, photography, performance, and film to bring my inner functions into spontaneous accord with the cosmos. It sounds complex and wildly esoteric, but it’s actually something that happens at the subconscious level, more than anything else.
My work, which began in the Vienna Art Academia during the 1980s, was largely inspired by ancient cave-paintings and expressive landscapes. After I experienced the endless vistas of the American West’s topography for the first time, the landscapes I drew, painted and filmed became increasingly complex, layered like architectural compositions in multiple overlapping sketches. I created mind-altered sceneries of shape and color and consequently I got obsessed with exploration into outer space.
I use painting, photography, performance, and film to bring my inner functions into spontaneous accord with the cosmos
I was fascinated by how the United States was settled, started to explore Wyoming and New Mexico for myself on horseback and came into first contact with the original habitants. About ten years ago I developed my alter ego a helmeted Space-Rider on horseback, who traverses the open vistas of unknown planets, first in my drawings, shortly after in my performances and videos. I did the first actual drawings and the first storyboard of the space rider film out on Chris Pfister’s ranch, near Worland WYO.
After we met, we became friends and he took me to fly his birds numerous times. I was amazed by his knowledge as a falconer, his love to the land and his art. He also gave me his horse “Rooster” to perform as the space horse, for my first live-action short film “The Map is not the Territory”, which we shot partly in the badlands near his ranch.
There are a lot of the same interests and ideas in our art and I invited him to do a joint venture exhibition at AdventureLand Gallery.
By combining the Lunar and Western landscapes, my work is a meditation on both, history and the strange miracle of life as a whole.”
Ati Maier, Brooklyn, November 2017
Check out more on Ati Maier here.
“My studio is at the ranch I’ve lived and worked on for over 20 years in Wyoming’s Big Horn Basin. From the window of the studio, I can view at a distance an almost lunar landscape of dry earth dotted with sagebrush. After teaching and painting in southern France, receiving an MFA at Yale University and working for many years in New York City, I returned to my western roots and my love of the natural world and moved to Gooseberry Creek, Wyoming. Now I divide my time between the ranch and the town of Cody, where I live with my wife and daughter.
I make all my own mediums and paints, and I start each day in the studio, often after fixing fence or irrigating, by mixing colors. The work enacts the slow history of oil paint on canvas and recognizes the time it takes to make and look at paintings. At the crossroads of memory, photography, and painting, my work is an effort to come to terms with the continual accumulation of discarded images, geographic documents, found objects, news footage, snapshots, archaeological records, the ways we map the cosmos and our place in it.
At the crossroads of memory, photography, and painting, my work is an effort to come to terms with the continual accumulation of discarded images, geographic documents, found objects, news footage, snapshots, archaeological records, the ways we map the cosmos and our place in it.
BIRDMAN AND THE SPACE RIDER represents a friendship rooted in the land. When Ati came to Thermopolis, WY twelve years ago and visited the ranch, it started a great friendship based on a shared love for the western landscape, horses, and curiosity about native culture, history, and the way the ancient and modern worlds connect.
My beloved and extremely patient horse Rooster has become a star in Ati’s films. My falconry practice and my birds, like Ati’s space rider, give me access to the aerial view of Planet Earth and put the human scale in perspective. From the Fifteenmile Badlands to Standing Rock, Ati and I have explored some amazing territory together. In BIRDMAN AND THE SPACE RIDER, we’ve let our visions of the universe intersect. I admire not only Ati’s work, but her creative spirit of exploration — I am delighted to join her in this latest adventure.”
Chris Pfister, Cody, November 2017
More on Chris Pfister here.