The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, May 27, 2018


The Morgan Library & Museum holds exhibition devoted to the pastels of Lucas Samaras
Lucas Samaras, Untitled, July 16, 1961, pastel on red construction paper. The Morgan Library & Museum, Gift of Lucas Samaras and Arne Glimcher. Photography by Graham S. Haber, 2015. © Lucas Samaras, courtesy Pace Gallery.


NEW YORK, NY.- During the first three decades of his long career, American artist Lucas Samaras (b. 1936 in Greece) turned to pastel to produce small, intimate works that explored themes present in his better-known paintings, sculptures, and installations. He was attracted to pastel’s bright colors and shimmering surface, and also to the fact that it was an unfashionable medium in postwar American art. Dreams in Dust: The Pastels of Lucas Samaras, on view now, celebrates the gift of forty-eight works to the Morgan from the artist and his dealer Arne Glimcher. Dating to the years 1958-1983, they range in subject matter from dreamlike seascapes and interiors to self-portraits, nudes, and still life. The installation of the exhibition was conceived in collaboration with the artist, who designed a wallpaper for it. The works are being presented in chronological order highlighting four successive phases of production. Dreams in Dust will remain on view at the Morgan through August 21.

“The Morgan is delighted to present this exhibition of Lucas Samaras’s work in a medium noted for its vibrancy,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the museum. “His pastels are extraordinarily diverse in subject and composition, and offer a highly personal look at the artist early in his career. We are deeply grateful to Lucas and to Arne Glimcher for their gift to the Morgan and for their involvement in this important exhibition.”

1958–62: Early Pastels
Samaras’s earliest pastels, made on cheap, colored construction paper, reflect his love of patterns and rich color contrasts—especially deep blue and red. Their inspiration ranges from modern masters—notably colorists such as Henri Matisse and Hans Hofmann—to pornographic magazines. They also reflect Samaras’s interest in theater with their imaginary scenes and stagelike compositions.

For Samaras, the shimmering effect of pastel—owing to the way the powdery substance catches the light from many directions—was as important as the vividness of its color. He recalled how during his childhood relatives who were in the fur business would bring back shiny fabrics from their travels. To recapture this fairy-tale atmosphere, the artist enhanced the jewel-like aspect of some of his early pastels with the addition of gold and silver metallic paint, which is apparent in his 1958 still life.

During this period Samaras was also taking classes at Stella Adler’s acting studio, and became involved in loosely structured theatrical performances known as “Happenings” in lofts and galleries. He also wrote plotless and irrational narratives though he never physically enacted them. He did, however, give visual form to some of these in his pastels—employing imagery associated with private fantasies, eroticism, and violence.

1965: Geometric Abstraction
In the 1960s Samaras’s pastel work demonstrates engagement with the Pop Art and Minimalism movements through his use of close-up and geometric abstraction, though the small size of his compositions and the softness of the powdery pastel medium contrasts starkly with the large-scale, hard-edge aesthetic predominant at the time. Instead of a torchon, or stump, the traditional implement used for blending pastels, Samaras used his finger to achieve smooth color gradations. He considers this an advantage. “ ... I didn’t have to use a brush. I was using a finger. So there was a subtlety to the changes, there was a—it was almost a fog or something that emerged . . . there’s a word for—the Italians use it: sfumato.” A 1965 self-portrait of sorts depicts his own finger as a drawing implement.

1974: Vibrant Creativity
After a lapse of nine years, Samaras took up pastel again, creating one hundred works during the summer and early fall of 1974. Many include heavily patterned compositions combining interiors, flowers, and seascapes.

In the artist’s seascapes dissolving figures eerily turn into hallucinations. In the left section of Untitled, August 14, 1974, two blue eyes peer at the viewer from the surface of the water.

1981–83: Psychological Intensity
Samaras’s last phase of pastel production to date is dominated by self-portraits—of which he made approximately two hundred. The broader palette and high-keyed colors applied in multiple layers create a rich texture while the expressionist handling—reminiscent of Van Gogh—heightens the psychological intensity of the images. In some of them a single eye in the center of the sheet stares at the viewer, epitomizing the hypnotic character of Samaras’s imagery.





Today's News

May 8, 2016

Exhibition in Aix-en-Provence pays tribute to the work of J.M.W. Turner

Pace Gallery announces its representation of multidisciplinary artist Julian Schnabel

The Morgan Library & Museum holds exhibition devoted to the pastels of Lucas Samaras

Sotheby's to offer Swiss Mechanical Marvels Part II, leading New York Sale of Important Watches

David Zwirner opens xhibition of new paintings by Belgian artist Luc Tuymans

Important retrospective of Heinz Mack’s work opens at Galerie Perrotin in Paris

Sotheby's to offer three works by L.S. Lowry from the collection of the late Cilla Black

Exhibition explores issues of gender and tells a pivotal story of sexuality in Japan's Edo period

Hanging installation by Beatriz Milhazes created for the Jewish Museum's lobby

Exhibition offers a new understanding of the art and spiritual traditions in the Kathmandu Valley

Saint Petersburg's celebrated Mariinsky orchestra performs in Syria's war-scarred Palmyra

Connoisseur's collection of Georg Jensen silver collection to be auctioned on May 16

Bertoia's May 20-21 auction offers a look into toy-shop windows of generations ago

Solo exhibition of works by Miya Ando opens at Nancy Toomey Fine Art

1992 Olympic 'Dream Team' memorabilia, from team doctor, offers rare glimpse of basketball glory

Exhibition of works by Duane Michals on view at DC Moore Gallery

First New York gallery exhibition of Prague-based artist Eva Koťátková on view at Maccarone

Florence Griswold Museum appoints Jenny Parsons as new Assistant Curator

National YoungArts Foundation announces Carolina García Jayaram President and CEO

16th edition of 'Communicating The Museum' 12-15 July 2016 will focus on the theme of 'Dialogue'

Mur Nomade presents Manon Recordon's first solo exhibition in Hong Kong

New Museum presents first New York museum exhibition of Goshka Macuga's work

Thousands march at Auschwitz to honour victims

Dreweatts announces Chinese Ceramics and Asian Works of Art Sale

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- New Rembrandt found after being bought at London auction

2.- Exhibition at Fotohof focuses on groups in society who are at risk of marginalisation

3.- John Brennan collection of Rock n Roll memorabilia offered at RR Auction

4.- A Bob Dylan guitar fetches $495,000 at auction

5.- Exhibition in San Francisco focuses on the latter half of René Magritte's career

6.- 'Mad' king Ludwig II of Bavaria lost gift to composer Richard Wagner gets rare show

7.- New Royal Academy of Arts opens in celebration of its 250th anniversary

8.- Researchers uncover Anne Frank's 'dirty jokes'in her diary

9.- New York art sales near $3 billion in two weeks as uber-rich hunt trophies

10.- Berlin's Ethnological Museum returns grave-plundered artefacts to Alaska



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful