Self-portrait, Photo-Transformation, Polaroid SX-70 print, 1973, Getty Museum
|Field||Photography, Sculpture, Printmaking|
Lucas Samaras (born September 14, 1936), is an artist, born in Kastoria, Greece. He studied at Rutgers University on a scholarship, where he met Allan Kaprow and George Segal. He participated in Kaprow's "Happenings," and posed for Segal's plaster sculptures. Claes Oldenburg, in whose Happenings he also participated, later referred to Samaras as one of the "New Jersey school," which also included Kaprow, Segal, George Brecht, Robert Whitman, Robert Watts, Geoffrey Hendricks and Roy Lichtenstein. Samaras previously worked in painting, sculpture, and performance art, before beginning work in photography. He subsequently constructed room environments that contained elements from his own personal history. His "Auto-Interviews" were a series of text works that were "self-investigatory" interviews. The primary subject of his photographic work is his own self-image, generally distorted and mutilated. He has worked with multi-media collages, and by manipulating the wet dyes in Polaroid photographic film to create what he calls "Photo-Transformations".
Works by Samaras are included in the collections of numerous public art institutions, including The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, the Courtauld Institute of Art (London), the Getty Museum (Los Angeles), the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (Fort Worth, Texas), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the Museum of Modern Art (New York City), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), the National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.), the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington D.C.), the Tate Gallery (London), the Walker Art Center (Minnesota), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City), and the National Gallery (Athens).
Lucas Samaras represented Greece at the 53rd International Art Exhibition, The Venice Biennale (June 7- November 22, 2009) with the multi-installation "PARAXENA" in the Greek Pavilion in the Giardini.
The Catalogue Raisonné of his works is being prepared by the Wildenstein Institute.
- Kristine Stiles and Peter Selz, editors. Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists' Writings. University of California Press, 1996.
- Jo Applin, '"Materialized Secrets": Samaras, Hesse and the Small Scale Box', Object, no. 4, 2002
- Lucas Samaras at Stephen Friedman Gallery
- The Pace Gallery
- Modern Painters on Lucas Samaras
- Getty Museum bio of Lucas Samaras
- Artcyclopedia list of Samaras works viewable online