Tim Maul’s pictures are laborious to contextualize, largely as a result of the artist himself defies categorization. Maul has operated in and across the New York artwork world because the Seventies, exhibiting alongside its members however by no means absolutely embedding himself within the metropolis’s social milieu. It’s maybe for that cause, or owing to his fastidious avoidance of branding, that Maul by no means grounded his follow in New York like different members of his technology. Within the Eighties, he ventured to Italy, then, a decade later, to Eire, floating out and in of Manhattan alongside the best way.
This sense of placelessness permeates his newest exhibition, which surveys three a long time of pictures. The gadgets and experiences that Maul captures—a hotel-room sconce, a greenback invoice, a cleaning soap dish— are quotidian to say the least, and he arranges them in seemingly detached diptychs and triptychs. In 07/06/78, 1978, a photograph of a calendar is sandwiched between two photographs of sunshine placing completely different surfaces, whereas Moist Hair, 1979, presents a trio of pictures that includes a phone, the again of a lady’s head, and a padlocked door. Maul’s works have all the time leaned towards melancholy, however now one additionally detects a level of sentimentality in his compositions.
The exhibition’s title, “Tim’s Ruler,” means that Maul is perhaps angling at a tool that may lend order to his topics. In 07/06/78, the calendar emphasizes the temporality of the occasions captured within the two accompanying photographs, cementing their standing as artifacts of a selected historic second. Saturated by such reminiscences—if not nostalgia—Maul’s inflexible method to measuring the passage of time permits a fragile narrative to take root inside and between the images.