Joseph Rozman

Wall of Royalty, 1967
Oil on canvas with collage
16.75 x 9.75 in
SKU: DB151d
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This painting is an excellent example of Joseph Rozman’s pictographic style, rendered on a smaller scale. Rozman's work often looks to ancient and non-western artistic idioms for inspiration, and in this portfolio he looks especially to the stone carving and written language of the ancient Egyptians. Egyptian art is of course known for its stylized figures in rigid silhouette, surrounded by image-based hieroglyphs describing the imagery and figures within. In this painting, the composition is likewise dominated by a central figure, surrounded by a series of squares filled with collaged canvas and playful symbols flag – all arranged like Egyptian hieroglyphs to evoke linguistic meaning. The central figure as well, presumably the "royalty" referred to in the title, wears the clothing of an Egyptian Pharaoh, including an abstracted Nemes headdress and a pleated kilt. Examples of Rosman's work like this one make literal the formal qualities of Egyptian art seen in other more ambiguous compositions of this period.