Shertz’s artistic mastery was forged, in part, by the experience he gained while studying under prominent painters of his time. He was fortunate to have had the rare opportunity to paint and train under incendiary painter Hans Hofmann, a primary catalyst for the Abstract Expressionist movement. Later, he apprenticed under Raphael Soyer, the celebrated Russian-born American painter, draftsman and printmaker.
Among Shertz’s primary influences were Picasso, Kandinsky, Andre Masson and the figurative works of Max Beckman. He was friends and worked closely with many of his era’s important artists, including Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Philip Guston, Lee Krasner and Boris Deutsch, among several others.
In protest to what he saw as the commercialization of the art world, Shertz went into self-imposed isolation in the 1980s to focus on perfecting his unique art form. The seclusion served him well— his personal explorations propelled him to new dimensions and resulted in his creating “Art of the Unconscious.”
For the next 30 years, Shertz continued to paint without showing or selling his works to collectors, museums or galleries. Now, for the first time, his works are available for the world to see.
From the time that Max Shertz studied at the Art Students League in New York with Hans Hofmann, the renowned American-German artist teacher, Max created his art in a spontaneous manner with no pre-conceived ideas – what Andre Masson, another influence in Max’s life, termed “automatism.” Never veering away from this approach, Max’ art went from figurative works in the 60’s and 70’s to semi-abstracts in the 80’s to mostly abstract works starting in the 90’s with a new process, calling his work “Art of the Unconscious” and wrote a series of essays about his new artistic process tiled “Frontiers of Ecstasy”, excerpts of it are inserted in this website.