Lucas Samaras--Objects and Subjects, 1969-1986

Thomas McEvilley, Author, Lucas Samaras, Author, Donald B. Kuspit, With
Thomas McEvilley, Author, Lucas Samaras, Author, Donald B. Kuspit, With Abbeville Press $65 (231p) ISBN 978-0-89659-803-4
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Catalogue of a traveling retrospective exhibit, this representative collection of Samaras's paintings, pastels, photographs, collages, assemblages and sculptures illuminates an oeuvre brilliantly integrating a masterful control of explosive color, a cerebral sense of design and passionate, often disturbing, emotive elements. Three introductory essays address issues central to Samaras's arttransformation and autoeroticism. McEvilley, contributing editor of Art Forum, links the ""stage set'' quality of various pieces to the artist's concern with ``theatrical self-presentation,'' viewing the increasing dimensionality of Samaras's media as a metaphor for the merging of art and life. Taking a psychoanalytic tack, Kuspit, who teaches at State University of New York, analyzes the distorted self-portraitsdismembered, confrontational drawings; grotesque, death mask-like ``phototransformations''as vehicles through which their maker exposes and ``rejuvenates'' illicit aspects of his subconscious. Smith, contributing editor at Art in America, gives a more straightforward, process-oriented critique of the artist's output, identifying in its repetition of a limited set of motifs in an ever-expanding technique, the ultimate coherence in Samaras's work. (May)
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