PINCHAS BURSTEIN, alias “MARYAN”.
Born in Polonia, in 1927 and died in USA, in 1977.
The irony in the images of Maryan coexist with the deepness of his biographical character that guided his entire career. Born in Poland in the previous years before Second World War, he became prisoner in a concentration camp when he was 12 years old, where he lost one of his legs and became orphan. This experience and also the new creations of Dubuffet, Picasso, Karel Appel among others, inspired him to develop a very personal artwork in parallel of the post war artistic movements.
Grotesque in appearance with a kitsch air, Maryan`s style has the characteristics of the vanguards with a unique style involving expressionism, art brut and metaphysical spaces with an exceptional vision, influenced by the artworks of his time, but with a radical and clever view.
In his paintings, the “Personnage” show the “angst” and the pain of loneliness, with gesticulating bodies in theatrical poses that emerge him as a precursor of contemporary painting. Often, the faces he paints, show a grin or scream in a very dramatic expression of human tragedy. However, in the middle of this chaos, he expresses irony and tenderness. His personality and style is related with the traditional black humor of the east countries and the survivors, and also close to Kafka“ in “The Process”, that was illustrated by Maryan in 1953.
His “Truth Paintings” were absolutely autobiographical.
He used to say: “I will be myself in any color I put on the canvas”.
Maryan. La Ménagerie Humaine.
Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme and Flammarion Editions, Paris (France), 2013.
Exhibition catalogue: "Maryan (1927-1977), la ménagerie humaine", Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme, Paris (Nov 6, 2013 - Feb 6, 2014).
Texts by Paul Salmona, Nathalie Hazan-Brunet, Ziva Amishai-Maisels, Philippe Dagen and Gérard Wajcman.
French; 250 illustrations; 24,5 x 28 cm; 120 pages with two drawing appendixes; hard cover.
Chelsea Hotel, New York, January 1977.
Photo by Allan Frumkin.