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Gunther Gerzso at Mary-Anne Martin Fine Art
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 Buñuel and others. In the early 1940s, after Buñuel 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.