Lucas Samaras

ARTIST:  Lucas Samaras

DOB/PLACE:  9/14/1936, Kastoria, Greece


EDUCATION: Art degree, Rutgers, 1959 on scholarship                                                    Graduate Department of Art History, Columbia University under Meyer Shaprio                                                              1950’/60’s studied Acting at Stella Adler Conservatory          


Samaras has been the subject of more than one hundred solo-exhibitions and seven retrospectives throughout his career, including "Unrepentant Ego", at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York in 2004. In 2009, Samaras represented Greece at the 53rd International Art Exhibition, The Venice Biennale.

MEDIA & TECHNIQUES: Sculpture, Painting, Photography, performance.  In1973 he discovered the malleability of the wet dyes in polaroid prints and began a series of ‘photo transformations’.  In 1960 he stopped painting in oils and worked on pastels, assemblages and boxes. He has continued to exploit a variety of materials, exhibiting the 'Photo-transformations'

CONTEXTUAL INFORMATION: Arne Glimcher, 3/2009:  “Lucas Samaras is not the best-known artist in America, but among the cognoscenti he is considered a wizard, and among artists he’s an elusive legend: a loner, eccentric, master of unusual media, and visionary who has avoided classification. He’s a solitary worker who has remained outside of movements, trends, or cliques, making work that is always original, provocative, and surprising. Samaras stands out from the crowd in part because he tends to work with unique subject matter—himself. He has interviewed himself, photographed himself, sculpted himself, and decorated himself and, in doing so, he has always seemed to be a work in progress. Samaras is not necessarily a narcissist, even though one of his retrospectives was titled “Unrepentant Ego.” He is an intrepid self-investigator and he has made a career out of mutating his own image and likeness.”                                      For more of this interview:

SUBJECT MATTER/THEMES/CONCEPTS DEALT WITH:                          On his boxes:                        “Rather than saying I am a sculptor I could have said I was a boxer.”
“The Greek word for box is kouti which also means stupid.”
—Lucas Samaras


On Samaras & Segal...who were friends.