After graduating from SAIC in 1952, Arthur Lerner (b. 1929, Chicago) studied in Paris and then for a year in Florence.
Early paintings featured mythological creatures (phoenix, harpy), screaming heads, and a series called Torn Man (1962), an agonized figure with flesh peeling from its torso.
Where there’s little modeling in work by Leon Golub and George Cohen, Lerner’s paintings and drawings have always had a sense of volume, and his work since the 1970s has continued to tap similar mythic and metaphorical material (mummies, hanged or tortured figures) but in a more classical figurative style.
This text was adapted from John Corbett’s “Introducing: The Roster” in the Monster Roster exhibition catalogue.