Lucas Samaras: Paint
PaceWildenstein is pleased to present recent work (1999-2001) by Lucas Samaras on view from November 13, 2001 through January 5, 2002 at PaceWildenstein’s Chelsea gallery located on 534 West 25th Street, New York City. The exhibition features hundreds of objects, canvases and papers slathered in acrylic polychrome paint. Samaras’s thematic exploration of paint as a seductive object continues and advances a practice that began with his first series of abstract oil paintings in 1958. Treating paint as a plastic medium, Samaras creates distinct bodies of work by highlighting paint’s historical and potential relationship to itself—the consideration of painting as process and paint as material. Applied to canvas, clay, glass, linen, paper, plastic, stainless steel and wood, Samaras’s new work with acrylic paint can be categorized into groupings including: “Views From Prison” (over 100 small and large canvases of oval and round shape), “Chroma Smearscapes” (over 300 11” x 8 ½” pieces of paper), “Chroma Stroke Boards” (approximately 50 12” x 16” wood panels), “Chroma Bowls, Clumps, Cubes, Cylinders, Pragmata and Trays” (over 150 objects of varying dimensions and media), and “Chroma Coupled Cutlery” (approximately 90 6” to 9” stainless steel fork, spoon and knife objects). The catalogue accompanying the exhibition is a 27-page statement written by Samaras between June and September 2001 and situates his work within the context of his artistic development and in response to the events of September 11.
Lucas Samaras (b. 1936, Macedonia, Greece) is recognized for his inventive and diverse use of materials including acrylic and oil paint, aluminum, bronze, clay, Cor-Ten steel, fabric, gold, jewels, pastels, pencil and ink, plaster and wire, among others, to create assemblage and figurative sculpture, paintings and drawings. He is also widely acclaimed for his pioneering work in photography—series of images referred to as “photo-transformations”—using the Polaroid camera during the early 1970s. Prior to joining The Pace Gallery in 1965, Samaras attended Rutgers University (New Jersey) where he studied with Allan Kaprow and George Segal and later entered
Columbia University (New York) where he studied art history under Meyer Shapiro. Samaras has taught at Yale University (Connecticut), Brooklyn College (New York) and lectured abroad under
the auspices of the United States Information Agency. Extensively exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, Samaras’s first retrospective was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (Illinois) in 1971 highlighting his box creations. Since that time
Samaras’s work has been the subject of major solo exhibitions including two traveling retrospectives organized by the Denver Art Museum (Colorado): Samaras Pastels (1981-83) and Lucas Samaras: Objects and Subjects 1969-86 (1988-89). In 1983, the Polaroid International Collection, Cambridge (Massachusetts) organized Photos Polaroid Photographs 1969-1983 opening at the Musée national d’art moderne, Centre George Pompidou, Paris (France) with subsequent venues including the International Center of Photography, New York (New York) and the Serpentine Gallery, London (England). Eight years later, the Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama (Japan) organized Lucas Samaras – Self: 1961-1991 that later traveled to the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima (Japan). Samaras’s self portraits will be the subject of a forthcoming exhibition in November 2003 organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (New York).
Samaras’s work can be found in numerous public art collections both here and abroad including: the The Art Institute of Chicago (Illinois), the Australian National Gallery, Canberra (Australia), the Denver Art Museum (Colorado), the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge (Massachusetts), the High Museum of Art, Atlanta (Georgia), the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington D.C.), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (California), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (New York), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (Illinois), The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York), the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Pennsylvania), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (California), the Seattle Art Museum (Washington), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (New York), the Tate Gallery, London (England), the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford (Connecticut), the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (Minnesota), and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (New York), among others.
Images are available upon request.