Lionel Maunz Where the Body Ends March 12 - April 16 2022

Bureau is pleased to present Where the Body Ends, Lionel Maunz’s sixth solo show at Bureau. The exhibition is maximal and refuses a conventional, spacious gallery installation. The space is installed in a claustrophobic manner replete with objects and bodies, some housed within steel and glass architectural structures of confinement. Maunz presents nearly twenty sculptural works and a large group of graphite drawings. 

Maunz’s most recent sculptures are installed in the gallery’s front room and reveal an unraveling of narrative into a more impulsive, restless and immediate figuration. Undifferentiated body parts mutate and morph, hanging from cold metal display structures. Pink, bruised and bulbous, these body failures are visceral arrangements of flesh. Maunz writes: ‘...trying to get at the size of terror, need, demand and pain, as they collapse the world, entombed between the orifices, now a world of skin.’ 

In the main space there is a riot of work. Drawings fill the walls. A massive horse lies on a low steel base and an assembly of architectural altar and cage-like structures fill the rest of the gallery. These pieces contain veiled but menacing fragments on multi-tiered internal platforms confined inside wired glass and steel enclosures. Layers of flesh and the instruments that restrict it degrade and descend from one level to the next. As altars, these works summon a sense of devotion and mourning. As cages, the pieces naturally suggest the cruelty of confinement and captivity. 

The large glass and steel enclosures comprise the artist’s most narratively specific body of work and delve into the depths of human cruelty, focusing on the abduction and abuse narratives of two young girls: Natascha Kampusch by Walter Priklopil and Sabine Dardenne by Marc Dutroux. The figures in these sculptures are finished in polychrome, a departure from the artist’s years-long focus on the muted palette of cast iron and concrete. This shift to a more colorful finish shows Maunz at his most unambiguous, yet lingering in a push and pull of sculptural description and architectural concealment. Here the metal and glass become an impediment for the viewer. This partial impenetrability of the interiors may distance the viewer from the subject: a subtle reprieve. 

The focal point in the main gallery is the exhibition’s most imposing piece and Maunz’s largest and perhaps most technically accomplished to date. A life-sized, precisely sculpted and cast horse sculpture lies sprawled on its back, the animal in a spasm of suffering. As with Maunz’s previous work that explored the horse, there is a connection between the bulky, convulsive equine body with those of the child victims. Here the animal’s size and gestural upheaval are at odds with the stillness of the children. Maunz has always explored the horse through a lens of subjugation. Despite the formidable strength and size of the prey animal, it is ultimately ruled by fear.

In the drawings we see the artist deviate into parallel narratives. Maunz studies the utterly fallible body and connects interwoven scenes of cruelty, illness and memory. There is a screaming chaos in many of these works, as if we are inside the sculpture’s cages - within the space of pain and recollection. The horse again appears multiple times: inverted and wildly bearing its teeth and then as skeletal remains. Portraits of various boys – including one the artist himself and one of his father – are collaged alongside symbolic talismans and over a rearing horse. The artist’s father appears again in these drawings at the end of his life. A triptych of portraits of Maunz’s father on his deathbed is entombed within an imposing steel sculpture. The scale and pathos of the work is impressive and raw. In the artist words, he aims ‘at expanding on my compulsion towards cruelly lensed flesh, wracked by fear, power, sex and catastrophe.

Lionel Maunz (b. 1976, lives and works in New York, NY) received his BFA and MFA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Solo exhibitions include In the Sewer of Your Body, Bureau, New York, NY, 2018; Discovery of Honey / Work of the Family, The Contemporary Austin, Austin, TX, 2017; Fealty, Bureau, New York, NY, 2016; Lionel Maunz, MoMA PS1, New York, NY, 2016; Deluge, Bureau, New York, NY, 2014; Receipt of Malice, Bureau, New York, NY, 2012; Wail Eternal Scorn of Geologic, Bureau, New York, NY, 2011. Maunz’s work is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; and the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX.

Three floor standing sculptures resembling mutilated human body parts on top of steel bases.
Several floor standing sculptures resembling mutilated human body parts on top of steel bases. On the back wall a graphite drawing of another human form in a black frame.
Several floor standing sculptures resembling mutilated human body parts on top of steel bases. On the back wall a graphite drawing resembling another human form in a black frame. In the back gallery are more related sculptures.
A gallery space filled with many large iron sculptures resembling cages. In the center is a sculpture of a horse. The walls are lined with framed drawings.
A gallery space filled with many large iron sculptures resembling cages. In the center is a sculpture of a horse. The walls are lined with framed graphite drawings.
A gallery space filled with many large iron sculptures resembling cages. In the center is a sculpture of a horse. The walls are lined with framed graphite drawings.
A row of graphite drawings in black frames depicting human and animal bodies. On the ground are two iron sculptures resembling abstract forms.
A gallery space filled with large metal sculptures resembling cages. Hanging on the wall are two framed graphite drawings.
Two graphite drawings of young children in black frames. To the left is a pinkish sculpture that appears to be decaying.
A gallery space filled with many large metal sculptures resembling cages. In the center is a sculpture of a fallen horse. The walls are lined with framed graphite drawings.
A gallery space filled with many large metal sculptures resembling cages. In the center is a sculpture of a fallen horse. The walls are lined with framed graphite drawings.
A gallery space filled with many large metal sculptures resembling cages. The walls are lined with framed graphite drawings.
A gallery space filled with many large metal sculptures resembling cages.
Two large iron sculptures resembling cages. The walls are lined with framed graphite drawings of animals and a child.
A gallery space filled with many large iron sculptures resembling cages. The walls are lined with framed graphite drawings of animals and humans.
An image pointing through the bars of a steel cage. Behind are numerous other sculptures and drawings framed on the wall.
In a gallery space, a large sculpture of a fallen horse resting on top of an iron base.

Inadequate, Crooked Pieces, 2022, Epoxy resin, fiberglass, steel, iron, paint, 68 × 109 ½ × 76 in.

In a gallery space, a large sculpture of a fallen horse resting on top of an iron base.
In a gallery space, a large sculpture of a fallen horse resting on top of an iron base.
In a gallery space, a large sculpture of a fallen horse with its head resting on a restriction device.
Four cast iron horse hooves resting on top of an iron base.
In a gallery space, a large iron sculpture resembling a multi-tiered cage containing a small human body.

Catechism, 2021, Steel, polymer modified gypsum, polyurethane resin, epoxy resin, epoxy clay, wig, concrete, acrylic, acrylic paint, 68 × 39 × 57 ¼ in.

In a gallery space, a large iron sculpture resembling a multi-tiered cage containing a small human body.
In a gallery space, a large iron sculpture resembling a multi-tiered cage containing a small human body.
In a gallery space, a large iron sculpture resembling a multi-tiered cage containing a small human body.
In a gallery space, a large iron sculpture resembling a cage containing another restriction device.

Calvary, 2021, Steel, glass, polymer modified gypsum, polyurethane resin, epoxy clay, wood, acrylic paint, 30 ¼ × 52 × 50 in.

In a gallery space, a large iron sculpture resembling a cage containing another restriction device.
In a gallery space, a large iron sculpture resembling a cage containing another restriction device.
In a gallery space, a large iron sculpture resembling a cage containing architectural models and an abstracted body part.

You'll Learn It On Your Body, 2021, Steel, glass, polymer modified gypsum, polyurethane resin, epoxy clay, plaster, burlap, acrylic paint, 56 ¼ × 42 × 24 in.

In a gallery space, a large iron sculpture resembling a cage containing architectural models and an abstracted body part.
A large steel sculpture hanging from a wall containing three drawings a human head.

Nothing Inside You Was Real, 2022, Steel, graphite on paper, acrylic, 58 × 48 × 24 in.

A large steel sculpture hanging from a wall containing three drawings a human head.
A standing steel sculpture resembling a cage containing an abstract form resembling human flesh.

Your Property, 2021, Steel, glass, polymer modified gypsum, epoxy clay, plaster, hair, burlap, acrylic paint, 56 ¼ × 16 ¼ × 16 ¼ in.

A standing steel sculpture resembling a cage containing an abstract form resembling human flesh.

A standing steel sculpture resembling a cage containing an abstract form resembling human flesh.

Child of God, 2021, Steel, polymer modified gypsum, plaster, polyurethane resin, epoxy clay, burlap, acrylic paint, 50 × 20 ¼ × 18 in.

A standing steel sculpture resembling a cage containing an abstract form resembling human flesh.
A wall mounted sculpture containing an abstract form resembling human flesh.

Slug / I Only Use the Word to Denote the Mind's Frailties, 2021, Polymer modified gypsum, polyurethane resin, epoxy clay, steel, acrylic paint, 50 × 22 × 13 ¼ in.

A wall mounted sculpture containing an abstract form resembling human flesh.

In a gallery space, an iron sculpture depicting abstracted animal forms on top of a plinth.

He Ripped Your Mind Apart, 2022, Iron, steel, 19 × 36 × 32 in.

In a gallery space, an iron sculpture depicting abstracted animal forms on top of a plinth.
In a gallery space, an iron sculpture depicting abstracted forms on top of a plinth.

Eternal Winter, 2022, Iron, steel, aluminum, felt, 18 ½ × 48 × 22 in.

In a gallery space, an iron sculpture depicting abstracted forms on top of a plinth.

In a gallery space, an abstract sculpture rests on the floor resembling human flesh.

Descension / Extermination, 2021, Polymer modified gypsum, plaster, epoxy clay, polyurethane resin, burlap, steel, acrylic paint, 47 × 25 ½ × 14 ½ in.

In a gallery space, an abstract sculpture rests on the floor resembling human flesh.
In a gallery space, an abstract sculpture resembling a human form with a steal base.

Everything Independently Screaming, 2021, Polymer modified gypsum, plaster, epoxy clay, polyurethane resin, burlap, steel, acrylic paint, 64 × 29 × 27 in.

In a gallery space, an abstract sculpture resembling a human form with a steal base.
In a gallery space, an abstract sculpture resembling a human form with a steal base.

Not Me / Not Here / Not Now, 2021, Polyurethane resin, polymer modified gypsum, epoxy clay, plaster, burlap, steel, acrylic paint, 57 × 13 × 18 in.

In a gallery space, an abstract sculpture resembling a human form with a steal base.
In a gallery space, an abstract sculpture resembling a human form with a steal base.

As Your Flesh Crumbles, 2022, Polyurethane resin, epoxy clay, plaster, burlap, steel, acrylic paint, 68 × 16 × 16 in.

In a gallery space, an abstract sculpture resembling a human form with a steal base.
In a gallery space, an abstract sculpture resembling a human form with a steal base.

Thickening Inside, 2021, Polyurethane resin, epoxy resin, wig, epoxy clay, steel, 66 × 17 × 12 in.

In a gallery space, a detail of an abstract sculpture resembling a human form with a steal base.
In a gallery space, an abstract sculpture resembling a human form with a steal base.

Field of Death, 2021, Polyurethane resin, epoxy resin, epoxy clay, wig, steel, acrylic paint, 64 ½ × 17 × 12 in.

In a gallery space, a detail of an abstract sculpture resembling a human form with a steal base.
In a gallery space, an abstract sculpture resembling a human form with a steal base.

Artaud, 2022, Polyurethane resin, epoxy resin, epoxy clay, wig, silicone, steel, 63 × 17 × 13 in.

In a gallery space, a detail of an abstract sculpture resembling a human form with a steal base.
In a gallery space, an abstract sculpture resembling a human form with a steal base.

Total Depravity, 2021, Plaster, epoxy clay, polymer modified gypsum, burlap, wig, steel, acrylic paint, 61 ¾ × 12 × 12 in.

In a gallery space, an abstract sculpture resembling a human form with a steal base.
In a gallery space, an abstract sculpture resembling a human form with a steal base.

Endowed with a Value by the Rule Governing It, 2021, Polymer modified gypsum, epoxy clay, plaster, burlap, steel, acrylic paint, 49 × 16 × 16 ¾ in.

In a gallery space, a detail of an abstract sculpture resembling a human form with a steal base.
A framed graphite drawing of a small boy laying on the ground possibly dead.

The More Abject the Posture the More Correct the Gesture, 2019, Graphite on paper, 30 × 44 in.

A framed graphite drawing of a horse skull laying on the ground with a symbol drawn above it.

The Milk of Our Revenge, 2019, Graphite on paper, 30 × 44 in.

A framed graphite drawing of two small children possibly dead.

Love Is the Law, 2019, Graphite on paper, 30 × 44 in.

A framed graphite drawing of an upside horse bust with a portrait of a young person drawn above it.

Higher Animal, 2019, Graphite on paper, 30 × 22 in.

A framed graphite drawing of a cross formation containing multiple children's heads.

The True Cross, 2019, Graphite on paper, 25 ½ × 20 ½ in.

A framed graphite drawing of a small boy paired with a nude figure bent over.

Destroyer Hive, 2019, Graphite on paper, 18 ½ × 23 ½ in.

A framed graphite drawing of an abstracted small child next to a pair of gorillas on top of each other.

Golgotha, 2019, Graphite on paper, 14 ½ × 24 ¼ in.

A framed graphite drawing of a small child placed on top of a trilobite.

To Be the Tapestry for His Feet Was My Highest Goal, 2019, Graphite on paper, 33 ¼ × 13 ¼ in.

A framed graphite drawing of a person's head drawn within a frame above another person's head.

Total Encounter, 2019, Graphite on paper, 18 × 11 in.