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Lucas Samaras

Albums

On View
Jun 29 – Aug 19, 2022
New York
 
Exhibition Details:

Lucas Samaras
Albums
Jun 29 – Aug 19, 2022

Gallery:

540 West 25th Street
New York

Press:

Press Release

Connect:

@pacegallery

Above: Lucas Samaras, Photo-Transformation, November 3, 1973 © Lucas Samaras

Pace is pleased to present an exhibition of new and historical work by Lucas Samaras, a pioneer of photography, sculpture, installation, and digital art.

Throughout his career, Samaras has pushed the boundaries of image making, and Pace’s latest exhibition of his work centers around six new volumes of the artist’s Albums (2015-2022), each comprising hundreds of images created over the past decade. Presented in their natively digital format, Samaras’s Albums chart new aesthetic terrain by reimagining earlier bodies of work, in particular the artist’s iconic Auto Polaroids (1969-71) and Photo Transformations (1973-76).

In tandem with the Albums, the exhibition features a selection of Samaras’s Polaroid works from the 1960s and 1970s, including the Sittings series (1979-80), in which Samaras photographed various prominent figures in the New York art world posing naked in his studio. The presentation draws connections between the artist’s pioneering and perverse manipulations of the Polaroid in the 1970s and his use of digital media over the past two decades. Focusing on art making as a daily practice, the exhibition underscores Samaras’s unflagging commitment to audacious and provocative experimentation with technologies of the image and of the self.

Presented on custom screens that preserve the rectangular format of the works as originally composed—while mirroring the original shape of Polaroid film—Samaras’s Albums serve as an auto-retrospective. The artist collects, scans, and reproduces works from his entire oeuvre, many of which have long since dispersed into museum collections and are available to him only through exhibition catalogues in his studio. These become the basis for myriad new works, which reshape, reimagine, and recontextualize the original images in ways that capture the artifice of the digital. Samaras’s six new Albums chronicle the artist’s own evolution, transforming more than seven decades of his artistic life into material for an illustrated auto-history, refracted by the lens of contemporary technology.

Samaras considers each of his six new Albums individual artworks. As digital archives of his daily practice, they interweave straight documentation of earlier works with entirely new digital artworks that the artist has created over the past decade using digital imaging software. Often recomposing visual elements in a bricolage of his own past together with new self-portraits taken on his iPhone inside his home and studio in midtown Manhattan—as well as images overlooking the city taken from his sixty-second story windows—Samaras remains a scavenger of the self. He consumes and absorbs his own history, digests it, melts it down in a crucible of a restless and unceasing imagination, before recrystallizing it in his ever-expanding archive of self-imagining.

 
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About the Artist

Eluding historical categorization, Lucas Samaras’s oeuvre is united through its consistent focus on the body and psyche, often emphasizing autobiography. The theme of self-depiction and identity has been a driving force behind his practice, which, at its onset in the early 1960s, advanced the Surrealist idiom yet proposed a radical departure from the presiding themes of Abstract Expressionism and Pop art.

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