Michael Mazur

Michael Mazur, Self Portrait, 1986, trace monotype on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase 1994.47.2.
Michael Mazur
Also Known as
Michael B. Mazur
New York, New York 1935
Cambridge, Massachusetts 2009
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Artist Biography

A humanist concerned with social and environmental issues, Mazur has experimented with nonrepresentational imagery, but has consistently remained apart from avant-garde movements. He studied at Amherst and with Leonard Baskin in Northampton, Massachusetts, and did graduate work with Gabor Peterdi and Bernard Chaet at Yale. Following three years as a teacher at the Rhode Island School of Design he joined the faculty at Brandeis University in 1965. From 1961 to 1966 he worked on a series of prints based on visits to a mental facility in Providence—many of which comment on humanity robbed of history, age, clothes, and social standing. The influence of Rembrandt, Goya, Daumier, Munch, and Kollwitz can be discerned in Mazur's early work, although during the late 1960s thematic concerns gave way to experimentation with graphic media. Highly expressionistic in handling and color, and ambiguous in thematic relationships, Mazur's recent paintings explore disturbing narrative images of implied violence and its emotional residue.

Virginia M. Mecklenburg Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Museum of American Art, 1987)