Los Angeles

Maryan

David Stuart Galleries

Maryan would seem to take as his text Jeremy Taylor’s “What is man but a vessel of dung, a stink of corruption, and, by birth, a slave of the devil?” His Personages are strutting, fretting idiots, whose silence makes the plastic arts appear lacking in a dimension. His characters are permutations and combinations of all our literary Yahoos: Caliban, Sweeney, Ubu, Oskar, and the Snopes, wedded to the devil in a medieval farce or a clown from the commedia dell’arte. They come from Gothic distortions via Matthias Grunewald, Hieronymus Bosch, Goya’s Black Paintings, and German Expressionism; they come from man’s inhumanity to man, World War II, and mid-century “nausea.” In other words, there is no lack of precedent; there is a noble lineage; the message is received and recorded. And there is even biographical justification: Maryan, born Pinchas Burstein in Poland, spent five years in Polish

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