Michael Mazur

The printmaker, painter, and sculptor Michael Mazur was continuously inventive throughout his career, producing work that spanned across the widest range of styles and mediums, from realism to abstraction, stating that "the creative act is an act of imagination which applies to any choice of subject matter." He is perhaps most revered for his profound insight into, and depictions of, internal and external human suffering and vulnerability. In the two series of etchings and lithographs that brought him to prominence in the early '60s, Closed Ward and Locked Ward, Mazur created abstracted images depicting inmates in a mental asylum in unbearable torment. In 1994, Mazur produced what he called "parallel translations" of Dante's Inferno in collaboration with the poet Robert Pinsky. In one illustration, Ugolino, Mazur captures both horror and sadness in the eyes of Count Ugolino as he tells his story, frozen in the center of hell and gnawing on the head of his arch-enemy.