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Gunther Gerzso at Mary-Anne Martin Fine Art
Gunther Gerzso
Ancestral Mansion
Gunther Gerzso
Landscape: Yellow, Blue
This exhibition of paintings by Mexican artist Gunther Gerzso, who died earlier this year, was supposed to have marked his 85th birthday, but instead became a memorial exhibition. Representing a career of over 50 years, this concise selection of some 37 paintings and works on paper presented a number of outstanding pieces from nearly every period.

Gerzso started out as a set and costume designer for the stage and for films shot in Mexico by John Ford, Yves Allegret, Luis Bu˝uel and others. In the early 1940s, after Bu˝uel introduced him to the ex-patriate European Surrealists then living in Mexico City, Gerzso began to paint on the set during breaks in the shooting schedule. He proceeded to develop a highly refined form of geometric abstraction with Surrealist overtones.

The work titled Ancestral Mansion (1949) is a remarkable example of Gerzso's early period. Abstracted architectonic forms are suspended in an eerie landscape, one that Gerzso continued to explore in later works inspired by pre-Columbian architecture.

His labor-intensive compositions of recent years feature illusionistic spaces of layered planes; they often recall the overlapping windows on a computer screen. Among the examples in this show, the arresting Landscape: Yellow, Blue (1966) seemed to glow on the gallery wall.

Gunther Gerzso, "In His Memory," Oct. 12-Nov. 11, at Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art, 23 East 73 Street, New York, N.Y. 10021.
A smaller version of the show remains on view until Dec. 2, 2000.