Picture Theory is pleased to present Between The Buttons, the inaugural exhibition at its Greenpoint, Brooklyn, space. Including photographs and notebooks made from 1981 to 2021, the exhibition explores works from Maul’s multi-disciplinary practice over four decades, reflecting on modes of perception, often through sequence. The suite of photographs titled Absinthe from 2020 brings layers in and out of focus through double exposure, evoking an intoxicated blur. Forms, objects, or interior spaces from one work repeat in another, revealing themselves indistinctly or out-of-scale from one photograph to the next, as if trying to blink away a dream-like double vision. Maul photographs flatness—the spare type on the pages of a book being thumbed through in half-shadow, the color bars on a TV screen crouched in the eaves, while also telling us something about the ordinary. His images speak: “You might have forgotten this.” Insular, everyday moments are given new thought. They can be playful or haunting, but each photograph opens a dream world.

Maul’s notebooks, on view for the first time, bring ephemeral or fleeting thoughts and images to the page. Divided into loose boxes or cells, they enclose what the artist refers to as the “noise” behind his other work, “thinking notes or puzzles.” Notebooks have been a constant for him since 1973, a space for study, writing, release, or simply to scribble. Edged in, the drawings can at times feel frantic, lines pushing against one another and into their seams, at others they seem placid, somehow connected to yet undisturbed by others on the page—creating a type of conversation with one another, which much of Maul’s work does. This format also recalls his ongoing interest in structural film, and he finds a personal connection to the daily sequential “strip” drawings made by his late brother, Michael.

The works on view exist between imagination and perception, a tuning-in to one’s surroundings and the ensuing awareness that one thing connects to the next and to the next within an immense, interlacing puzzle. And still, each moment is worth considering for its own pulse.

–Gillian Canavan

Download Press Release
Tim Maul (b. 1951, Stamford, Connecticut) studied painting at the School of Visual Arts, New York, before beginning to work in other media, including photography, drawing, and writing. His series traces and presence—comprised of black-and-white photographs made while being guided by a psychic to haunted spaces in New York City—is in the collection of Centre Pompidou, Paris, and is represented in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. His work is also held in the public collections of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, California; Centre national des art plastiques, Paris; and Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts. Maul’s work has been exhibited widely in one-artist exhibitions and group exhibitions worldwide, including at the University Art Museum, Berkeley, California; Skulptur Projekte Münster, Germany; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Artists Space, New York; National Library of Ireland, Dublin; The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Tennessee; The Drawing Center, New York; and American Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, New York; among others. Maul lives and works in New York City.