Maryan at FIAC
October 17 - 21, 2018
Grand Palais, Paris
Venus Over Manhattan
980 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075
(Paris, France) – For the 2018 edition of FIAC, Venus Over Manhattan is pleased to present an exhibition of work by Maryan. Comprising a suite of large format works on board from 1963, as well as accompanying works on canvas and paper, the presentation will be on view from October 17th through 21st, 2018, at booth E34 in the Grand Palais.
The artist known as Maryan was born Pinchas Burstein in 1927 to a Jewish family in Nowy-Saçz, Poland. Maryan spent the war years separated from his family in various ghettos, labor camps, and concentration camps, before being sent to Auschwitz. The only member of his family to survive the Holocaust, Maryan’s private life and artistic practice were deeply influenced by his experience of the war: his signature style, which used abstract techniques to render boisterous characters helped reintroduce the figure to contemporary painting, alongside his peers Karel Appel, Enrico Baj, Jean Dubuffet, and other artists associated with Art Brut, the CoBrA Group, and La Nouvelle Figuration. Though Maryan’s portraits of sputtering creatures boldly rejected the popular taste for total abstraction, his work was met with positive attention: he exhibited regularly in Parisian Salons after 1951, quickly joined the Galerie de France in 1956, and was awarded the Prix des Critiques d’Art at the Paris Biennale in 1959. His renown brought him a number of international exhibitions, and his first solo presentation in the United States was held at the famed André Emmerich Gallery in 1960.
Shortly after his debut with André Emmerich, Maryan moved from Paris to New York with his wife Annette. Maryan established a home and studio at the Chelsea Hotel, where he worked to develop his “Personnages,” a series of works on board and canvas that he began just before leaving Paris in 1960. These works feature a single figure positioned at the center of the composition, typically contorted into a strange pose. In Paris, the “Personnages” were often trapped in boxes or confined to claustrophobic spaces, but after Maryan’s move to New York, his figures burst forth from their constricting volumes, animating their compositions with wild expressions and confrontational gestures. With little exception, the “Personnages” consumed Maryan until his death, and represent the most striking realization of his unparalleled vision.
On view in the presentation is a series of large-format works on board, which Maryan produced in 1963, shortly after moving to New York. Executed with deep black inks on bright white board, the works are notable for their jarring descriptions of strange creatures dressed in ceremonial robes, religious garb, and militaristic hats. Variously depicting crouching gargoyles with outstretched wings, levitating generals with extended tongues, and animalistic figures with the ears of a donkey, the works will be accompanied by a pair of smaller works on paper, as well as a single work on canvas, that serve to represent the range of strategies and materials that Maryan used to render his “Personnages.”
In conjunction with the presentation, Venus Over Manhattan will also publish a small catalogue featuring images of the works on view, as well historical writings about Maryan’s work.
Maryan was born Pinchas Burstein in 1927 in Nowy-Saçz, Poland. He attended the Bezalel School in Jerusalem, the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris, and studied with Fernard Léger. Maryan’s work has been the subject of numerous international solo presentations, including exhibitions at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme, Paris; the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, Chicago; and the André Emmerich Gallery, New York. His work is frequently featured in important group exhibitions, including presentations at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Maryan’s work is held in the permanent collections of numerous public institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Maryan lived and worked in New York City until his death in 1977.
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