Sculptor

Criticism

“(Blistein’s) sculptures range from ‘Five Finger Exercises,’ where the hand has enjoyed shaping and molding a pliable substance, which was then encased in shiny bonze, to ‘environments,’ where little rooms are created by narrow bars of metal and are settings for nightmarish dramas. While the ‘Five Finger Exercises’ delight in form for its own sake, the environments and other works are violently expressive of the dark side of the Id. Here are found half-formed fetal images and male figures with grotesquely expanded chests and eviscerated abdomens. One piece combines a crucifixion and a fetal image. Another depicts a figure in a room lined with skulls. One has the same feeling here as when viewing photographs of Nazi prison camps. . . Blistein has a few ‘self portraits’ in the show too. The most memorable is a head opening to reveal an animal inside eating its own entrails. . . The size of Blistein’s sculptures allows he viewer a degree of relativity since they are all table-top dimension. If done life-size or larger-than-life, the effect would be devastating.” Review by Melissa Moss art critic for Annapolis Evening Capital of a solo exhibition at St. John’s College in Annapolis.

Endgame: Sculptures in Bronze the title of a new exhibition by sculptor Burton Blistein . . . is an evolving narrative of existence. . . . Each piece has its own voice with the push-pull tension of despair and hope, destiny and death, want and rejection, angst and determination. Beginning and end are interwoven. The influence of mythology, anthropology, literature and philosophy are assimilated or manipulated in one way or another in Blistein’s works. His pieces reflect the dualism of happiness and sadness, darkness and light, life and death. . . .The title of the exhibition reflects the subject matter of Blistein’s sculptures, all of which deal with the limitations inseparable from the human condition. His sculptures form a continuous series in which the images interrelate, each piece amplifying the meaning fof the others. Like the role of the powerful king in the endgame of chess, Blistein emerges as a strong visual voice depicting man’s complicated existence. Review by Lucinda Edinberg, Art Educator, The Mitchell Gallery, St. John’s College, Annapolis of a solo exhibition at Annapolis Collection Gallery.