Essay to the interview written by Gregory Volk.
This conversation arose from over twenty years of deep attention to Ati Maier’s singular and transportive art, and also friendship with her. I have been privileged to witness at length the development of Maier’s paintings, which combine representation and abstraction, horse riding and space travel, spectacular (at times otherworldly) landscapes and cosmic energy fields. Exploration is fundamental in Maier’s art, and this includes how she has radically extended her painterly sensibility, first into animated paintings and then into the four remarkable films that constitute her wonderful SpaceRider series.
In the guise of her alter ego SpaceRider, an alien from another planet, Maier, who wears a homemade astronaut’s suit and carries a distinctive handmade flag, and her horse, who wears an astronaut’s helmet, solemnly visit and observe places—remote Wyoming, New York City, the Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and Berlin—which have special significance for her. These films, made by an expert painter, are very thoughtful and entirely enthralling.
Gregory Volk is a New York-based art writer, freelance curator, and former associate professor in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University. Among my many catalogue essays are “Ati Maier: Speeding Through Space” in Ati Maier: 2005-2007 published by Dogenhaus Gallery and Pierogi Gallery (2007) and “Ati Maier: The Placeless Place” in The SpaceRider Cycle 2020 published by the Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg (2020).