Maryan (Pynchas Burstein)–The Dark Side of Human Nature





Maryan was born in Nowy Sącz, Poland in 1927. During the occupation period, he and his family were  sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. He spent six years in the camp, where his father , a baker, was murdered along with the rest of his family. He was shot in the leg by prison guards, resulting in it being amputated. He moved to Palestine where he studied graphics at Bezalel Art Institute. In 1950, he  studied at the School of Fine Arts in Paris. In the 1960s, he moved to New York where he  became an American citizen. He died in June 15, 1977 at the age of 50 from a heart attack. He was buried at Montparnasse cemetery in Paris.

The work speaks for itself.


About trueoutsider

I'm an artist.
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3 Responses to Maryan (Pynchas Burstein)–The Dark Side of Human Nature

  1. Susan Thompson says:

    Wow. I’ve never heard of this artist. I’d love to see some of his work in person. Anything in the U.S.? Reminds me of Picasso and Guston. I especially like the more abstract, painterly painting with the white vertical figure on the bisected black/brown ground. Thanks for bringing Maryan’s work to my awareness.

  2. trueoutsider says:

    Hi Susan. Yes. A fantastic artist. I’ve actually only seen one of his paintings in person and it was in the lobby of the Chelsea Hotel in NYC. Frumkin showed his work a long time back. I thought of this connection to him because Dennis Adrian had seen a head in one of my paintings that he related to Maryan and so Adrian was turned me onto his work initially. I hadn’t thought of Maryan for years until I was thinking about those head paintings of mine that everybody has no idea what to make of and don’t sell and go from dealer to dealer. And of course they’re self-portraits, which is what Maryan called his portrait work. Lucian Freud also referred to his work as self-portraits. I’d like to get those paintings back at this point because I realize how directly related they are to Maryan, not to mention Bacon…. I just read a quote from Chuck Close. “Inspiration is for amateurs.” Screw Chuck Close and the empty formalism that runs through the ice cold sewer system of American Art. Not a flicker of a genuine feeling in the entire mess. Cindy Sherman also says that all of the photo portraits she takes have nothing to do with her. No kidding. I don’t see any American artist’s work that has anything whatsoever to do with the person making it. Robots might as well make the crap that regularly shows up at the Whitney Biennial. Sick of the it all. I’m ready to just paint flowers like Georgia O’Keefe… Splendid Isolation.

  3. wewordsmiths says:

    Thanks for this post about an artist I’ve not at all known.

    Also for mentioning Georgia O’Keefe. Her flora were not merely precise, but otherworldly personal. Looking upon them, I often feel each has a name, a personal name.

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