Marshall Arisman Retrospective Spanning 45 Years of the Legendary Artist’s Career
July 19, 2017
The world in canvas.
Man holding head of beast.
Photo of Marshall Arisman by Peter Liepke, “Graphis,” 1990.

SVA presents “Marshall Arisman: An Artist’s Journey From Dark to Light, 1972-2017,” an exhibition spanning the legendary artist’s 45-year career. The multi-media retrospective, featuring paintings, sculptures, etchings, editorial illustrations and short films, will be on view from August 19 through September 30 at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, New York City. A reception for Arisman will take place at the gallery on Tuesday, August 22, from 6:00 to 8:00pm.

Marshall Arisman, <em>Red Demon</em>, 2015, oil on wooden panel.
Marshall Arisman, Red Demon, 2015, oil on wooden panel.

The works in “An Artist’s Journey from Dark to Light” reflect Arisman’s embrace of both good and evil, a perspective shaped early on by his grandmother, a psychic and medium who advised him to live his life “in the space between angels and demons.” Included are pen-and-ink drawings of firing-squad executions, suicides and portraits of villains both real (Adolf Hitler, for U.S. News & World Report ) and fictional (Darth Vader, for TIME, and Hannibal Lecter, for numerous outlets), as well as examples of Arisman’s fine art, which gravitated toward more enlightened themes, particularly in recent years. Paintings of sacred animals including monkeys, cats and aura-bearing buffalo will be on display, as well as SVA’s subway posters based upon his series of Angels and Demons. The 2014 posters were released as part of the College’s long-running SVA Subway Series.

Painting of a buffalo
Marshall Arisman, Buffalo Run, 2016, oil on canvas.

Marshall Arisman’s paintings are in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art Print Collection, the New-York Historical Society, the National Gallery of Art, The Guandong Museum of Contemporary Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Arisman’s work has appeared regularly in such publications as Esquire, Harper’s, Omni, Playboy, The New York Times, Rolling Stone and The Nation, creating an enduring iconoclastic presence in contemporary visual communications. As the chair of SVA’s MFA program Illustration as Visual Essay, Arisman continues to inspire future generations of artists to use mysticism as a tool to make sense of the world around them and create impactful stories in the process.

For more information about the exhibition, click here.