New York

Maria Martinez-Cañas

Julie Saul Gallery

Maria Martinez-Cañas often derives the layered, complex imagery of her photographs from old maps, customs documents, and other items relating to her Cuban heritage. However, in “Traces of Nature,” her most recent show, the inspiration came not from her memories of Cuba but from her own backyard: On view were photograms—shadowlike images produced by placing objects between light-sensitive paper and a light source—made with plants, leaves, and other organic forms taken from the Miami-based artist’s garden. Used since World War II in the creation of maps, the photogram has also been a favorite mode of experimentation among art photographers, including Man Ray, Christian Schad, and (perhaps most important for Martinez-Cañas, who was trained in Bauhaus-influenced Chicago) László Moholy-Nagy.

The artist presented the large series from 1999 that gave the show its title, along with two smaller

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