Los Angeles


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

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.