Lionel Maunz creates dystopian sculptures from rugged, brutal materials like cast iron, concrete and steel. Working principally with figurative forms, Maunz has described his vision of the body as a “fulminating, grinding, butchered thing,” a sense he reinforces by depicting dismembered, fragmented, and partially-decayed anatomies.
“Fertilize My Mouth” consists of a concrete ramp over which spills a sprawling, formless, and abject mass. At first resembling the melted ruins of a building destroyed by fire, upon closer inspection the iron mass depicts the remains of a decaying pig intermingled with exploded architectural fragments. At the base of the ramp stand two dismembered iron legs whose scale evokes a child’s body and whose upright positioning and abrupt truncation suggest the aftermath of a sudden violence.
“Nearby, I Need Love” presents a disturbingly hybridized body consisting of fragmented and recombined appendages, which the artist has rendered at incongruously varied scales to frame a phallus protruding forebodingly from its center. Finally, Parasite evokes a figure atop a fractured concrete throne, yet one whose features have been mutilated beyond recognition, divorcing the rhetoric of enthronement from any fantasy of power. Originally installed as part of the 2015 iteration of MoMA PS1’s quinquennial exhibition, “Greater New York”, Maunz’s forms suggest artifacts excavated from the aftermath of catastrophe.
- Lionel Maunz, Double Bind, 2016