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artgenève

Past
Mar 3 – Mar 6, 2022
Geneva
 
Art Fair Details:

artgenève
Palexpo Geneva
Booth C30
Mar 3 – 6, 2022

Connect:

artgenève
@artgeneve
@pacegallery

Above: Lucas Samaras, Mosaic Painting #6, 1991, acrylic on canvas board © Lucas Samaras

Pace Gallery's presentation for the 2022 edition of artgenève features a solo display of Lucas Samaras’s radical work, surveying his oeuvre from 1960 to 2021. In light of the evolving humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, we will be donating 100% of proceeds from artgenève to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which is currently aiding over 660,000 individuals fleeing violence in Ukraine.

Spanning photography, painting, works on paper, sculpture, and artist made books, this presentation showcases the breadth of Samaras’s compelling practice. Pace has had the honour of representing Samaras since 1965. For more than six decades Samaras has embraced new mediums and technologies to explore ideas of identity and self-expression.

Despite moving through distinct bodies of work, from early experiments in pastel, to assemblage, photography and performance art, the core of Samaras’s visual lexicon has been continually driven by self-investigation, exploring the relationship between body and psyche. His influence is international. An early adopter of new technologies, from polaroid cameras in 1970s to photoshop in the late 1990s, Samaras has repeatedly pushed the boundaries of his practice. Most recently, in January 2022, the artist dropped a series of NFTs related to his XYZ series from 2010-2012 with Pace Verso, the gallery’s NFT platform.

Early highlights of the booth include pastel drawings on paper from 1960 in which Samaras translates the world around him in jewel-tone colors and lush textures. Pastels have occupied a significant place in Samaras’s practice since his childhood when his family emigrated to the United States from Greece and, in the artist’s words, “Art was the only thing I could do without speaking… . They just gave me paper and pastels and I drew.” The speed and rich colors afforded him by the material has led Samaras to return to pastels regularly throughout his career.

Also on display are a suite of AutoPolaroid works made between 1969 and 1970. Samaras acquired his first polaroid camera in late 1969 and was immediately inspired by the freedom of experimentation afforded by the almost instantaneous results. In the years that followed, Samaras made hundreds of photographs in his home-studio. The vast majority were of the artist’s own naked body, he explained, ‘I like remaking myself in photography’. The shocking or unusual poses Samaras chose, coupled with the extreme contrast in light and shadow, resulted in dynamic, radical work that is testament both to the artist’s inventiveness as well as the significance of performance and theatricality in his practice. Through these images, Samaras explores taboos, celebrates the human form and challenges expectations in new and enlivening ways.

Further standout works include Box #78, 1972, in which Samaras assembled items such as colored pencils, geometric forms and erasers into a wooden box, decorated with the artist’s distinctive brightly colored aesthetic. Additionally, pieces such as Chair Transformation #9, 1969-70, and Untitled, 1965, see Samaras transform everyday objects into artworks, interweaving pop art aesthetics with jagged edges and sharp pins, at once playful and menacing, familiar and disconcerting.

Central to this survey are a selection of Samaras’s Mosaic Paintings from the early 1990s. Refuting the ordered grid of the Minimalists, these works – such as Mosaic Painting #4, May 20, 1992 – create and then subvert patterns in a swirling optical illusion. In Mosaic Painting #6 made on March 30, 1991, Samaras interlocks exuberant, geometric forms and multicolored dots to create a psychedelic composition on a shaped canvas support.

 
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Supporting Ukraine

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Pace stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. In light of the evolving humanitarian crisis, the gallery will be donating 100% of proceeds from artgenève to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which is currently aiding over 660,000 individuals fleeing violence in Ukraine. The UNHCR is working with Ukrainian authorities, UN agencies, internationally displaced persons community groups, and other partners to provide humanitarian assistance wherever possible. As part of an ongoing partnership with the UNHCR, Pace is collaborating on artist events in support of the organization, including upcoming programs with JR and Michal Rovner.

Learn More & Support

 

XYZ Series NFTs

Lucas Samaras, XYZ 0817 (Chinoiserie), 2012/2021, non-fungible token

Lucas Samaras’s XYZ series, which includes four bodies of work created between 2010 and 2012, exemplifies the artist’s longstanding investigations of form, color, space, and the expansive possibilities of technology. A pioneer in photography and digital art, Samaras has pushed the boundaries of image-making for much of his career. Some of his most famous series are his Photo-Transformations, created from 1973 to 1976 and centered on unorthodox manipulations of Polaroids, and his Photofictions, fragmented self-portraits, and fantastical abstractions from 2003.

Deeply engaged with Samaras’s experimentations of this kind, works in the XYZ series feature psychedelic formations rendered in electric colors. Consisting of a digital component and an 11x17 inch physical print, these works are dated 2012/2021 to reflect their original format and later transformation into NFTs.

Lucas Samaras on Pace Verso

Lucas Samaras, XYZ 0819 (Chinoiserie), 2012/2021, non-fungible token
Lucas Samaras, XYZ 0810 (Chinoiserie), 2012/2021, non-fungible token
 

Featured Works

Lucas Samaras, Untitled, July 19, 1960, pastel on paper, 8-1/2" x 11-1/2" (21.6 cm x 29.2 cm) paper 15-3/4" × 18-3/4" × 1" (40 cm × 47.6 cm × 2.5 cm) framed

Small Pastels

For Samaras, pastel has been a prominent and foundational medium since 1948, when, at the age of eleven, he moved from Greece to New York without the language skills to communicate in English. “Art was the only thing I could do without speaking… They just gave me paper and pastels and I drew,” he remembers. Continuing with the medium throughout his career, pastel allowed for exploring his fantasy and dreams and the expression of a range of subjects, including interiors, nudes, seascapes, still lifes, and self-portraits. As seen in the present works, his compositions varied, many involving still life elements set against an abstracted background where distinctions between object and background dissolve.

Lucas Samaras, Chair with Figures #11, May 30, 1981, pastel on paper, 17 x 11-1/2" (43.2 x 29.2 cm)
Lucas Samaras, Chair with Figures #28, June 3, 1981, pastel on paper, 17 x 11-1/2" (43.2 x 29.2 cm)
Lucas Samaras, Untitled, June 23, 1962, pastel on paper, 8-7/8" x 12" (22.5 cm x 30.5 cm)

Polaroid Photograph Assemblage

A continuation of Samaras’ ongoing interest in both photography and the human form, these works exemplify his investigation of technology, color, and balance. His innovation with the medium further materialized with his use of the Polaroid SX-70 in 1973 in a melding of self-portraiture and abstraction. The artist enacted performances and poses in his studio that embody a kind of self-conscious vulgarity yet aesthetically pleasing theatricality with his own nude figure, often lit unconventionally with colored gels. Samaras would take several photos using a Polaroid camera and then cut the works diagonally, splicing them back together in surprising ways, often using his apartment and belongings as the backdrop and props.

Lucas Samaras, Untitled (Split), 1973, Polaroid photograph assemblage, 4-1/4" x 3-3/8
Lucas Samaras, Untitled (split), 1969-71, Polaroid photograph assemblage, 4-1/4" x 3-3/8" (10.8 cm x 8.6 cm)
Lucas Samaras, Small Word Drawing #26, June 17, 1975; July 25, 1975, ink on paper, 15 x 11" (31.8 x 27.9 cm) paper 21" × 16-5/8" × 1" (53.3 cm × 42.2 cm × 2.5 cm) frames

Word Drawings

The subject of much of Samaras’ oeuvre, the artist has photographed, drawn, painted, decorated, sculpted, and interviewed himself over the course of his career. His word drawings are a further exploration of this subject and are references to his personal life. This series includes ink on paper works that read “DREAM” or “DRAW” and have descriptive titles that reference the size of the work as well as its placement within the series. In Large Word Drawing #32 and Small Word Drawing #26, black ink spells out “DREAM” with a colorful “E” at the center of the composition, drawing the eye across the paper in a surprising way.

Lucas Samaras, Small Word Drawing #5, June 9, 1975; August 16, 1975, ink on paper, 15 x 11" (38.1 x 27.9 cm)
Lucas Samaras, Large Word Drawing #32, 6/26/1975, ink on paper, 23-5/8 x 17-7/8" (60 x 44.8 cm), paper 29-7/8" × 23-3/4" × 1-1/8" (75.9 cm × 60.3 cm × 2.9 cm), framed
Lucas Samaras, Mosaic Painting #6, March 30, 1991, acrylic on canvas board, 44" x 31-1/4" (111.8 cm x 79.4 cm)

Mosaic Painting

Created during the 1990s, Samaras’s Mosaic Paintings express meticulously applied hard-edge forms. This series marks an important chapter in his long history of working in high-key, psychedelically colored geometric abstractions, which occur as early as his box sculptures and color wheel paintings of the 1960s. Distinct from the gridded abstractions of the Minimalists working at the same time, Samaras’s grids are unapologetically maximal. These mosaic-like compositions, with their vibrating tessellation, anticipate the breakthrough works Samaras made using a computer beginning the early 2000s, and articulate a visual strategy that continues to inform his practice of abstracting form and distorting space through digital manipulation.

Lucas Samaras, Mosaic Painting #4, May 20, 1992, acrylic on canvas board, 54-1/2 x 24-3/4" (138.4 x 62.9 cm)
Lucas Samaras, Mosaic Painting #7, June 15, 1992, acrylic on canvas board, 59 x 32-1/2" (149.9 x 82.6 cm)
Lucas Samaras, Mosaic Painting #32, May 17, 1992, acrylic on canvas, 34-1/8 x 46-1/4" (86.7 x 117.5 cm)

Panoramas

Continuously working with the most advanced photographic technology available, Samaras embarked on his Panoramas series in 1982 at the advent of the newest generation of Polaroid products. The ability to see the image soon after taking it allowed him to rearrange his apartment, where he shot this series alone. For each image, he cut the 8x10 inch Polaroid photographs into strips of equal width before reshuffling and splicing them together to create a new image at once uncanny, familiar, and contiguous; displaying the fantastical and psychedelic qualities that permeate much of his oeuvre.

Lucas Samaras, Panorama, October 23, 1984, Polaroid Polacolor II assemblage, 13" x 22-1/2" (33 cm x 57.2 cm), overall image 14-1/8" x 23-3/8" (35.9 cm x 59.4 cm), overall paper
Lucas Samaras, Panorama, January 30, 1983, Polaroid Polacolor II assemblage, 20-3/8" × 13-3/16" (51.8 cm × 33.5 cm)
 

All Works

Lucas Samaras,
AutoPolaroid,
1971
January 1971, ink on Polaroid photograph, 3-3/8" x 4-1/4" (8.6 cm x 10.8 cm) 11" × 10-3/4" × 7/8" (27.9 cm × 27.3 cm × 2.2 cm), frame
Sold
$30,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Untitled,
1961
July 16, 1961, pastel on paper, 12" x 9" (30.5 cm x 22.9 cm)
Available
$35,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Untitled,
1960
July 19, 1960, pastel on paper, 8-1/2" x 11-1/2" (21.6 cm x 29.2 cm) paper 15-3/4" × 18-3/4" × 1" (40 cm × 47.6 cm × 2.5 cm) framed
Available
$35,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Untitled,
1962
June 23, 1962, pastel on paper, 8-7/8" x 12" (22.5 cm x 30.5 cm)
Available
$35,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Large Word Drawing #32,
1975
6/26/1975, ink on paper, 23-5/8 x 17-7/8" (60 x 44.8 cm), paper 29-7/8" × 23-3/4" × 1-1/8" (75.9 cm × 60.3 cm × 2.9 cm), framed
Available
$25,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Small Word Drawing #26,
1975
June 17, 1975; July 25, 1975, ink on paper, 15 x 11" (31.8 x 27.9 cm) paper 21" × 16-5/8" × 1" (53.3 cm × 42.2 cm × 2.5 cm) frames
Available
$25,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
The Amateur,
1985
April 15, 1985, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 24" (91.4 x 61 cm) 40-1/2" × 28-1/2" × 1-3/4" (102.9 cm × 72.4 cm × 4.4 cm), frame
Available
$150,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Untitled #4,
1973
1973, acrylic on canvas, 29-1/2" × 23-3/4" × 1/8" (74.9 cm × 60.3 cm × 0.3 cm)
Available
$90,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Reconstruction #13,
1977
1977, sewn fabrics, 8' 7" x 9' (261.6 x 274.3 cm)
Available
$350,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Mosaic Painting #6,
1991
March 30, 1991, acrylic on canvas board, 44" x 31-1/4" (111.8 cm x 79.4 cm)
Available
$250,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Mosaic Painting #4,
1992
May 20, 1992, acrylic on canvas board, 54-1/2 x 24-3/4" (138.4 x 62.9 cm)
Available
$75,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Mosaic Painting #7,
1992
June 15, 1992, acrylic on canvas board, 59 x 32-1/2" (149.9 x 82.6 cm)
Available
$75,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Mosaic Painting #32,
1992
May 17, 1992, acrylic on canvas, 34-1/8 x 46-1/4" (86.7 x 117.5 cm)
Available
$250,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Untitled (Split),
1973
1973, Polaroid photograph assemblage, 4-1/4" x 3-3/8
Available
$30,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Untitled (split)
1969-71, Polaroid photograph assemblage, 4-1/4" x 3-3/8" (10.8 cm x 8.6 cm)
Available
$30,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Panorama, 11/1/84,
1984
1984, color Polaroid assemblage, overall image, 23-3/4" × 8-5/8" (60.3 cm × 21.9 cm) overall paper, 25-1/8" × 11" (63.8 cm × 27.9 cm)
Available
$50,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Panorama,
1983
January 30, 1983, Polaroid Polacolor II assemblage, 20-3/8" × 13-3/16" (51.8 cm × 33.5 cm)
Available
$50,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Panorama,
1984
October 23, 1984, Polaroid Polacolor II assemblage, 13" x 22-1/2" (33 cm x 57.2 cm), overall image 14-1/8" x 23-3/8" (35.9 cm x 59.4 cm), overall paper
Available
$50,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Untitled,
2008
2008-2020, pure pigment on paper, 14" × 14" (35.6 cm × 35.6 cm), paper
Available
$12,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Chair Transformation #9,
1969
1969-70, acrylic on wood, 40" x 25" x 25" (101.6 cm x 63.5 cm x 63.5 cm)
Available
$475,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Large Word Drawing #32,
1975
6/26/1975, ink on paper, 23-5/8 x 17-7/8" (60 x 44.8 cm), paper 29-7/8" × 23-3/4" × 1-1/8" (75.9 cm × 60.3 cm × 2.9 cm), framed
Available
$25,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Chair with Figures #28,
1981
June 3, 1981, pastel on paper, 17 x 11-1/2" (43.2 x 29.2 cm)
Available
$45,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Chair with Figures #11,
1981
May 30, 1981, pastel on paper, 17 x 11-1/2" (43.2 x 29.2 cm)
Available
$45,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Box #78,
1972
1972, mixed media, 13-7/8" × 13-3/8" × 17-3/4" (35.2 cm × 34 cm × 45.1 cm), open; 8-3/8" × 13-3/8" × 14-1/2" (21.3 cm × 34 cm × 36.8 cm), closed
Unavailable
$500,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
AutoPolaroids,
1969
1969-71, twelve gelatin silver transfer prints (Polaroid film) with hand-applied ink, 2-7/8" × 3-3/4" (7.3 cm × 9.5 cm), each
Available
$140,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
AutoPolaroid,
1971
1971, Polaroid photograph with hand-applied ink, 2-7/8" × 3-3/4" (7.3 cm × 9.5 cm)
Available
$30,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
Figure,
1978
June 29, 1978, Polaroid Polacolor II photograph, 9-1/2" x 7-1/2" (24.1 cm x 19.1 cm), image 10-7/8" x 8-1/2" (27.6 cm x 21.6 cm), paper
Available
$25,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
XYZ 0817 (Chinoiserie),
2012
2012/2021, non-fungible token
Sold
$20,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
XYZ 0819 (Chinoiserie),
2012
2012/2021, non-fungible token
Sold
$20,000 USD
Lucas Samaras,
XYZ 0810 (Chinoiserie),
2012
2012/2021, non-fungible token
Reserved
$20,000 USD
To inquire about any of the works featured in this presentation, please email us at inquiries@pacegallery.com.