Private Listing

Lucas Samaras

Private Listing , 1973

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About the artist

Lucas Samaras

Lucas Samaras (born 1936) is a Greek-American artist known for exploring themes of personal identity through his sculptures, paintings, drawings, and performance work. Originally born in Greece, Samaras emigrated with his family to the United States in 1948 where he went on to study art at Rutgers and later, Columbia University. It was at Columbia that his interest in self-depiction and self-investigation began. Samaras painted self-portraits from the front and back using a mirror and pastels. Samaras’ focus soon shifted to objects, and he began making assemblages and working in performance art. Inspired by the Fluxus movement, Mirrored Room (1966) is one of his most renowned works of art. The “room,” comprised of mirrors on wood installations, allowed viewers to enter and see infinite versions of themselves. It is celebrated for being one of the first installations that allowed visitors to be active participants in the art rather than passive viewers. Always pushing boundaries, Samaras opened a virtual exhibition of his work in 2021 following the success of his show at Pace Gallery in New York.

In addition to his self-portraits and performance work, Samaras is perhaps best known for his innovative photography techniques, specifically the ways in which he began manipulating the dyes in Polaroids with the intent of distorting the photographic images in a surrealist manner. The polaroids used were often of Samaras himself, furthering his investigation of self-depiction. The polaroid has since become an integral part of Samaras’ practice, the medium by which many know and love the artist for how he transforms such a widely used tool into fine art.

Samaras’s works are presently held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others. The artist lives and works in New York, NY.

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