Maryan, Polish-born Jewish expressionist painter
Born in Poland in 1927 with the name of Pinchas Burstein, Maryan, became a modernist expressionist artist whose work reflected the nightmarish existence he led as a Jew during his formative years. At age 12, he was arrested with his family and spent the next six years at Auschwitz concentration camp. During that period, he had a leg amputated. However, he lived and was liberated in 1945, when the Russians came through, but the rest of his family, including his father who was a baker, had died. In the years 1947 to 1950 he lived in Israel where he undertook two years of studies in the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. In 1950 Burstein arrived in Paris, where he studied at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts for three years, including two in the lithography workshop.
He studied with fernand Leger. He settled in New York City in 1962, living in the 1970s at 301 East 63rd Street. Much of his artwork, likely reflecting his experiences in the concentration camps, is "brutal, boisterous, aggressive, and theatrical" with bright colors, solitary figures called Personages and exaggerated poses---"caught in the comedy of the human condition" (baumgold). His work in the 1950s was had primarily Jewish themes, and spoke much of brutality, but later his work became more generalized. In the 1960s, he injected some clownish humor with figures that were "mocking, clownish zombies with mask like faces and lolling tongues. . . Later they got wilder and more gestural, with maybe a touch of Willem de Kooning, winding up as slobbering, almost illeglible bundles of mouths, flailing limbs and flying organs. . . Petty, sly and dumb they were not only oppressors, but victims as well." (Glueck)
This is published by L'oeuvre Gravee and bears their blindstamp. They published, Hans Hartung, Ossip Zadkine, Zao Wou-Ki, Massimo Campigli, Gustave Singier and Hans Erni amongst other Mid century modern greats. In 2002, an exhibition of his work, Maryan: Works from the 60s, at the Adam Baumgold Gallery, featured paintings, works on paper and linoleum cuts that the artist did after his move to New York in 1962. A description of that event includes the following:
"The exhibition features a large painting "Personnage," 1962, that shows the twisted upper torso of a man in military uniform - fingers bloody, tongue skewered defiantly to the side of his mouth with two solitary red chess pieces on either side of his body. A series of eight linoleum cuts from 1962 has costumed, seated figures with part comical, part maniacal facial expressions and wildly gesticulating hand movements. These works are done with a bold and crisp line that is the organizing force in all the drawings and works on paper in the exhibition."
"Maryan's work was linked at times to movements such as CoBrA, Nouvelle Figuration, and other artists, among them Peter Saul, Philip Guston, and H.C. Westermann, as well as the Chicago Imagists, Jim Nutt and Ed Paschke, but the very personal nature of his oeuvre makes it unique and original. That Maryan was an artist provided him with the means to address his life experiences on his own terms - his 'Truth Paintings,' as he called them, are 'autobiographical" - "I will be myself in any color I put on the canvas.' " Influenced by Jean Dubuffet, Karel Appel and Pablo Picasso.
In 1969, he was part of the Whitney Museum's exhibition, "Human Condition/Personal Torment", and in 1972 was featured at the Solomon R. Guggenheim exhibition, "Ten Independents."Studies: Bezalel, Jerusalem; 1950 Academy of Fine Arts, Paris. Prize: 1962 French Government for Art and Literature. 1961 Attended Vienna Biennale; 1962 moved to New York.
Alfred Kremer 1895-1965 Im Kontext mit HM Bachmayer, Maryan, Michel Nedjar und Helmut Rieger. Galerie van de Loo Projekte Munich, Germany.
Select Public Collections:
MoMA Museum of Modern Art New York.
Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris (France).
Carnegie Institute,Pittsburgh (USA).
Smithsonian Institution, Washington"DC"(USA).
Staatliches Museum, Berlin (Germany).
Musée de Peinture et de Sculpture, Grenoble (France).
Musée"de Beaux Arts André Malraux, Le Havre (France).
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris (France).
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris (France).
The Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv (Israel).
Musée de Beaux Arts, Tourcoing (France).
Museum des 20.Jahrhunderts, Vienna (Austria).
Nordjyllands Kunstmuseum, Aarlborg (Denmark).
Art Institute of Chicago
Museum of Contemporary Art-Chicago
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Jewish Museum NYC
Israel Museum, Jerusalem
2017 Maryan Michel Soskine,Madrid, Spain.
2013 MARYAN. La menagerie humaine, Museé du Judaïsme, Paris (France).
Holzdrucke Galerie Marie7José Van de Loo, Munich (Germany)
2002 Adam Baumgold, New York (USA)
1990 ‘Maryan,"La période americaine’, Galerie Jacques Benador, Geneva (Switzerland).
‘Maryan."Personnages," from the Napoleon Series, Claude Bernard Gallery, New York (USA).
1985 Allan Frumkin Gallery
1983 Maryan’s Personnages, Works in Chicago Collections. Spertus Museum
1972 10 Independents, Guggenheim Museum.
Personaggi (with Enrico Baj),"Galleria d’arte ‘La Bussola’, Torino (Italy).
André Emmerich Gallery
Galerie Fenestra, Helsinki (Finland).
1958 Galerie de France, Paris (France).
1957 Maryan and Mihaïlovitch, Galerie Rive Gauche, Paris (France).
1952 Galerie Breteau, Paris (France).
1950 Y.M.C.A. Building, Jerusalem (Israel).
Select Group Exhibitions
‘The Look in Photography & New acquisitions’, Michel Soskine, Madrid (Spain).
‘No Images of Man’, Curated by Mitchell Algus, Sandra Gering. New York(USA).
Gering & López Gallery, NY(USA).
1990 ‘From Chagall to Kitaj: Jewish Experience in Twentieth Century Art, Barbican Art Centre, London (England).
1976 Jewish Museum,NY(USA).
1972 ‘A Renaissance of Lithography’, Tamarind Institute, Lithograph Studio & Workshop
1967 10 ans d’Art Vivant’, Fondation Maeght, Saint Paul de Vence"(France).
1965 Pop Art, New Realism etc. Palais de Beaux Arts, Brussels (Belgium).
1961 Felix Landau Gallery, Los Angeles, (USA).
Charlottenburg Palace, Copenhagen, (Denmark).
Salon des Surindépendants 1952 and 1953, Paris (France).
Salon de Mai 1953 to 1965, Paris (France).
Biennale de Paris, 1957 and 1959, Paris (France).