In Memory of Lucas Samaras

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Lucas Samaras passed away on March 7, 2024 at the age of 87. He will be missed.

One of the most original artists of his generation, Lucas Samaras has created a heterogeneous and highly idiosyncratic body of work where self-portrayal is arguably the cornerstone of creativity. His work spans from abstraction to figurative, from two to three-dimensional and is situated within the movements that have shaped the American artistic landscape over the past decades. As a photographer, sculptor, painter, designer and performance artist, his forays into minimalism, expressionism, surrealism, body art and photography have helped to broaden or transform its understanding. His exploration of taboos, his unconventional use of materials and objects, has exerted influence on numerous artists.

Lucas Samaras was born in 1936 in Kastoria, Greece. He emigrated to the United States with his family in 1948 where he later studied art and then art history at Rutgers and Columbia Universities. Since 1964 he has lived in New York.

His interest in theater led him to participate to the Happenings of Kaprow, Whitman and Oldenburg at the Reuben Gallery in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He joined the Pace Gallery in 1965.

His work has been the subject of numerous retrospectives, including “Lucas Samaras: Boxes” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1971); Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (1972); “Samaras: Pastels” at the Denver Art Museum (1982); “Polaroid Photographs 1969-1983” organized by the Polaroid International Collection, first presented at the Centre Georges Pompidou (1983); and “Lucas Samaras-Self: 1961-1991” at the Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan (1991), “The Photographs of Lucas Samaras: Selections from a Recent Gift”, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (1992); “Unrepentant Ego : The Self-Portraits of Lucas Samaras”, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA (2003); “Lucas Samaras. Retrospective” at the National Galery of Athens –Alexandros Soutzos Museum, Athens, Greece (2005), “Paraxena” at the 53rd Venice Biennial, Greek Pavilion (2009); “Lucas Samaras: Offerings from a Restless Soul”, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2014).

Xippas gallery exhibited his work over the last thirty years through personal and collective exhibitions.


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