Erwin Pfrang’s drawings at the David Nolan Gallery. Although Pfrang was born in Munich just over forty years ago, the packed panoramas of weirdly contorted figures that pour forth from his pencil look like products of the Germany of sixty or seventy years ago. Pfrang’s scenes of monstrous, teeming humanity have a vitriolic, nightmarish aura which suggests that this child of the Fifties has steeped himself in the work of Otto Dix, Max Beckmann, and George Grosz, along with the Belgian James Ensor. Taken one by one, Pfrang’s figures don’t have the succinct graphic elegance of the individuals in the Beckmann or Grosz works in black and white; but his figures, which emerge out of accumulations of light, tendrilly, sketchy lines (which may be in part inspired by the drawings of Joseph Beuys), do suggest a kind of nervous, bridled energy. This series of drawings was inspired by “Circe,” the...

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