Lucas Samaras was born in 1936 in Kastoria, Macedonia, Greece and he could be the coolest artistic grandfather (Greek:pappou) we would all like to have. The Greek-American art legend and ‘Photoshop magician’ unveiled his new exhibition titled XYZ, created entirely in Photoshop, at Pace Gallery in NYC on September 27th.
XYZ is an exhibition of twenty works from 2010 to 2012 by Lucas Samaras. This is the artist’s thirty-third exhibition at Pace, which has represented him since 1965.
In XYZ, Samaras continues his deeply focused explorations in manipulating materials and images, alluding to his early work with the Polaroid camera and extending the technique he first embraced in the 1970s of slicing colors into abstract, mosaic-like paintings. Rather than stitching tangible materials, in XYZ, Samaras uses the computer to make dazzling pure pigment prints where he fuses his photographs with selected digital effects to create hyper-chromatic compositions.
The exhibition presents work from four new series: two, called “Chinoiserie” and “Cock and Bull,” explore abstract patterns, both in isolation and overlaid onto virtual interiors and geometric figures. In the “Flea” series, Samaras manipulates photographs that he took at Manhattan’s flea markets, using mirrored effects and both subtle and intense adjustments to transform mundane found scenes into eerie, disorienting, and highly-keyed arrays of treasure.
The fourth series, “Razor Cut,” represents the most dramatic evolution in his recent work. Working without photographic source material, Samaras conceived a cast of psychedelic characters and built compositions that reveal vivid and operatic narratives. These subjects are Samaras’s complete creations.
Since he moved to the States as a young artist, Lucas Samaras has been the subject of more than one-hundred solo exhibitions and seven major career retrospectives, including Unrepentant Ego: The Self-Portraits of Lucas Samaras at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 2004, which featured a staggering 400 works. In 2009, Samaras represented Greece at the Venice Biennale with an exhibition that spanned four decades of the artist’s practice.
Over the years, Samaras has created drawings, furniture, jewelry, paintings, photographs, sculpture and room-sized installation using a variety of material including beads, chicken wire, clay, Cor-ten steel, fabric, mirrors, pastel, pencil, pins, plaster and oil. He has often made himself the subject of his own work, using his own image to push the boundaries of physical and psychological transformation.
XYZ is on view until October 27th at Pace Gallery’s 508 West 25th Street location in New York. For more info click here.