Manfred Zylla

Paintings

Manfred Zylla, b. Augsberg, Germany, 1939.  Born and raised by a pair of deaf parents during the height of the Nazi regime, his early experiences of racial hatred and discrimination set the tone for the kind of anti-fascist, anti-war activist he would later become. Moving to South Africa in 1970, he was highly sensitive to the sufferings of South Africa's black population during apartheid and began to produce paintings that overtly criticized the National Party and their handling of key events, such as the Soweto uprisings of 1976.

 

Zylla is best known for large scale work, particularly drawings and printmaking that criticize political issues and social imbalances. He has exhibited in a number of one-man and group exhibitions, nationally and internationally, and has organized and attended many socialist-driven interventions. 

The artist currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Scheiss-Auto series comes from a time when Zylla was heavily involved with demonstrations against heavy traffic in Munich. Conceiving of themselves as bike-riding Davids vs. automotive Goliaths, his group tried to reduce the number of cars in the city through protests, marching and demonstrations, becoming really militant in their actions and risking arrest. These paintings were made alongside big banners used as signage during these protest activities. 

This series was exhibited one other time in a small Italian village named Gaino, where together with his brother they participated in one night of demonstrations against tourists. Zylla fondly remembers a German tourist who got very angry when he saw the paintings displayed on the streets, while an Italian jazz band played boisterously behind them. 

The Your Servant series depicts a neighbor of the artist named Jonathan. Often unhoused and underfed, Jonathan earned his living on street corners, performing pantomimes for passers-by. Zylla's depiction of a person living on the edge is a lively likeness that balances the tenuousness of reduced circumstance with the obstinance required to live it.

SEIS Gallery Scheiss Auto, Complete.jpg
SEIS Gallery Your Servant, complete.jpg
SEIS Gallery Manfred Zylla Scheiss Auto 1.jpg

Scheiss Auto- S

1993

acrylic on brown paper

29.5" x 39.5" image

32" x 42" frame

Scheiss Auto- C

1993

acrylic on brown paper

29.5" x 39.5" image

32" x 42" frame

SEIS Gallery Manfred Zylla Scheiss Auto 5.jpg
SEIS Gallery Manfred Zylla Scheiss Auto 6.jpg

Scheiss Auto- H

1993

acrylic on brown paper

29.5" x 39.5" image

32" x 42" frame

Scheiss Auto- E

1993

acrylic on brown paper

29.5" x 39.5" image

32" x 42" frame

SEIS Gallery Manfred Zylla Scheiss Auto 7.jpg
SEIS Gallery Manfred Zylla Scheiss Auto 9.jpg

Scheiss Auto- I

1993

acrylic on brown paper

29.5" x 39.5" image

32" x 42" frame

Scheiss Auto- SS

1993

acrylic on brown paper

29.5" x 39.5" image

32" x 42" frame

SEIS Gallery Manfred Zylla Scheiss Auto 2.jpg
SEIS Gallery  Manfred Zylla Scheiss Auto 1.jpg

Scheiss Auto- A

1993

acrylic on brown paper

29.5" x 39.5" image

32" x 42" frame

Scheiss Auto- U

1993

acrylic on brown paper

29.5" x 39.5" image

32" x 42" frame

SEIS Gallery  Manfred Zylla Scheiss Auto 3.jpg
SEIS Gallery  Manfred Zylla Scheiss Auto 4.jpg

Scheiss Auto- T

1993

acrylic on brown paper

29.5" x 39.5" image

32" x 42" frame

Scheiss Auto- U

1993

acrylic on brown paper

29.5" x 39.5" image

32" x 42" frame

SEIS Gallery Manfred Zylla Scheiss Auto 10.jpg
SEIS Gallery MZ  Your Servant 1.jpg

Your Servant 1

2018

4 color lithograph

9" x 12" image

11.5" x 14.5" frame

Your Servant 2

2018

4 color lithograph

9" x 12" image

11.5" x 14.5" frame

SEIS Gallery MZ  Your Servant 2.jpg
SEIS Gallery MZ  Your Servant 3.jpg

Your Servant 3

2018

4 color lithograph

9" x 12" image

11.5" x 14.5" frame

Your Servant 4

2018

4 color lithograph

9" x 12" image

11.5" x 14.5" frame

SEIS Gallery MZ  Your Servant, Ta Da!.jpg