Florian Maier-Aichen at MOCA Pacific Design Center

Florian Maier-Aichen uses painting techniques to create his mesmerizing and somewhat disorienting photographs. Whether it is color, scale or simply the image itself, his landscapes or industrial vistas often give the viewer the feeling that something is not quite right. Maier-Aichen achieves this effect by altering photos pixel by pixel, sometimes combining two images to create subtle disturbances. An extra-large topographical shot of June Lake, for example, is created by weaving together multiple aerial shots of the region. In this piece, he uses a special infrared film most often used for agricultural studies; green hues turn shades of red, providing a much stronger contrast with the blue bodies of water. Splitting his time between Cologne, Germany, and Los Angeles, Maier-Aichen blatantly rejects the straightforward German take on industrial landscape, instead offering images that deceive, challenging the very idea that a photograph is by definition a document.

8687 Melrose Ave., Design Plaza G102, W. Hlywd. | www.moca.org | (310) 289-5223 | Through September 30

Matthew Higgs’ “Art Is to Enjoy” at Jack Hanley Gallery

In addition to being an artist, Matthew Higgs is the director of the White Columns nonprofit exhibition space in New York, and is a well-known critic and curator. For Higgs, the three practices are inextricably linked, and in this new show he frames found texts such as pages torn from books, photographs of books and book covers. A page that reads simply “Word as image” sums up a crucial part of his investigation. Another piece simply frames a section of a black-and-white, standard-issue composition-book cover. While Higgs has obviously spent countless hours perusing bookstore shelves, his art destroys the idea that an artist has to create something original and implores us all to be careful observers of what’s already here. In some ways Higgs is the ultimate collector, paying homage to the subtleties that most of us would pass by without contemplation, and in that sense he offers a great reminder to slow down and think about what we see.

945 Sun Mun Way, Chinatown | www.jackhanley.com | (213) 626-0403 | Through ?August 11

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