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Lucas Samaras


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About Lucas Samaras

Lucas Samaras (b. 1936, Kastoria, Macedonia, Greece) has been the subject of more than one-hundred solo exhibitions and seven major career retrospectives, including Unrepentant Ego: The Self-Portraits of Lucas Samaras at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 2004, which featured a staggering 400 works. In 2009, Samaras represented Greece at the Venice Biennale with an exhibition that spanned four decades of the artist’s practice. Over the years, Samaras has created drawings, furniture, jewelry, paintings, photographs, sculpture and room-sized installation using a variety of material including beads, chicken wire, clay, Cor-ten steel, fabric, mirrors, pastel, pencil, pins, plaster and oil. He has often made himself the subject of his own work, using his own image to push the boundaries of physical and psychological transformation.

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Press Release

  • Lucas Samaras: Photofictions
    Lucas Samaras: Photofictions, an exhibition of 38 new photographs, opens at PaceWildenstein, 32 East 57th Street, New York City on November 11, 2003 and remains on view through January 17, 2004. A catalogue with full color reproductions and a poem written by the artist will be published on the occasion of the exhibition. For several decades photography has been a significant medium for Lucas Samaras. Like his pioneering Photo-Transformations, Samaras’s acclaimed Polaroid photographs from the 1970s, the Photofictions have astonishing visual effects. Using subjects ranging from New York City’s Central Park and architectural structures to interiors and flowers, Samaras creates luminous new environments. Photofictions coincides with Unrepentant Ego: The Self-Portraits of Lucas Samaras, a retrospective exhibition organized by Marla Prather, curator of postwar art, on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Avenue, New York City from November 13, 2003 through February 8, 2004. The retrospective will explore the manifold ways in which the artist has used his own image to investigate themes of sexuality, terror, mortality, and transformation, while inventing new techniques and experimenting with unconventional materials. Lucas Samaras (b. 1936 Macedonia, Greece) came to New York City with his parents in 1948. Samaras met Allan Kaprow, George Segal, and Robert Whitman when he attended Rutgers University in New Jersey. He then became an active figure in the New York art world when he participated in the first series of “happenings” with Jim Dine, Red Grooms, and Claes Oldenburg. Since that time Samaras has become widely known for his sculpture, drawings, paintings, photographs and his diverse use of media including beads, chicken wire, clay, Cor-ten steel, fabric, pastel, pencil, pins, plaster, and oil. His work is in numerous permanent collections worldwide including: The Art Institute, Chicago; Dallas Museum of Art; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Saint Louis Art Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Seattle Art Museum; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Tate Britain, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others. Lucas Samaras’s mirrored structures are in several museum collections including the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Los Angeles County Museum; and the Denver Museum of Art. In addition to the upcoming retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Lucas Samaras has been the subject of six retrospectives in the past thirty-two years; these included exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1971); his first Whitney retrospective (1972-73); Samaras Pastels, a drawing survey organized by the Denver Art Musuem that traveled to six additional venues (1981-83); a retrospective of his Polaroid photographs from 1969-1983 that traveled to twelve museum venues in twelve European and American cities (1983-84); Lucas Samaras: Objects and Subjects 1969-1986 organized by the Denver Art Museum that traveled to five museums including the High Museum, Atlanta and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Lucas Samaras – Self: 1961-1991 organized by the Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan.
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Lucas Samaras

2003. PaceWildenstein. Paperback

172 pages: 47 color illustrations; 8 x 7 ⅛ inches



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