In the most immediate sense, Lionel Maunz’s cast-iron-and-concrete sculptures depict acts of cruelty against horses and children, what with their strewn-about equine and body parts. But given the additional presence of classical-architectural details and fragments—standing in, perhaps, for authority—Maunz could be referring more broadly to state-sponsored brutality.
In Semen, Blood, Lava, the artist’s own hand can be seen, apparently holding on for dear life to a larger form embedded within a tall slab. Nearby, Beautiful Child comprises a low-stepped plinth surmounted by small disembodied feet, a bridle and a hammer, an arrangement at once placid and creepy. Regime, the largest work on display, resembles a compact version of a government plaza following a violent revolution or demonstration; a mutilated horse’s head and a set of truncated hooves seem to offer mute witness to unfortunate events.
Maunz, who grew up in a doomsday-prepper household complete with a backyard bunker, took his inspiration and title for the show from Renaissance master Paolo Uccello, whose fresco of Noah and the Flood for the Church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence is filled with foreshortened corpses. It forms an interesting backstory, though it’s ultimately irrelevant. Maunz’s pieces stand on their own as chilling monuments to a place where history, memory and trauma collide.—Nana Asfour