Painter and printmaker Michael Mazur established his reputation in the 1960s with woodcuts and engravings of figural subjects. Born in New York City, he attended Amherst College and the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy. Mazur returned to the United States to study with noted graphic artist Leonard Baskin and later with Gabor Peterdi and Josef Albers at Yale University.
Mazur's prints focus on enclosed spaces and objects, using light to create a sense of mystery. In Studio Views III the artist offers a vantage point into the studio with transparent male and female figures positioned at either side of the room; they are within the space yet occupy no space.
Widely exhibited, Mazur's work is in the collections of many American museums. He has taught at Brown University, Yale University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the Rhode Island School of Design, where he executed a series of prints depicting the lives of the mentally ill.
[This is an excerpt from the interactive companion program to the videodisc American Art from the National Gallery of Art. Produced by the Department of Education Resources, this teaching resource is one of the Gallery's free-loan educational programs.]