GREEK ARTISTS IN NEW YORK
Copyright Lucas Samaras, courtesy of Pace Wildenstein, New York
Photograph by Bill Jacobson
Box #125, 1988
Mixed media, 11.75 x 13 x 11 inches, closed
Samaras was born in
1936 in the small town of Kastoria in Macedonia, Greece, moved to New York in
1948, and graduated from Rutgers University College of Arts and Sciences in
1959. He became a U.S. citizen in 1955.
a sculptor and experimental artist who created a very diverse portfolio, he
was a part of Kaprows first happening in 1959. Around this time he was
creating figures out of plaster and rags. Then, in the 1960s, Samaras began
using nails and pins to construct his sculptures. When he began experimenting
with photography, he made several studies in light and reflection, and his most
famous works were a part of his 1970 series of Autopolaroids, multi-media assemblages
in which he often included images of himself. The persistent use of himself
as a subject led one critic to remark that "Samaras's almost obsessive
self-observation extends past narcissism toward a physical understanding of
himself." These photographs of his own anatomy helped to solidify his reputation.
His work is in the collections of many museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.