Larry Rivers

Last updated
Larry Rivers
Larry Rivers.jpg
Born
Yitzroch Loiza Grossberg

(1923-08-17)August 17, 1923
DiedAugust 14, 2002(2002-08-14) (aged 78)
Nationality American
Education Hans Hofmann School
Known for Painting, sculpture
Movement East Coast figurative painting, new realism, pop art
Spouse(s)Augusta Berger (m. 1945–?; divorced)
Clarice Price (m. 1961–1967; legally stayed together )

Larry Rivers (born Yitzroch Loiza Grossberg, August 17, 1923 – August 14, 2002) was an American artist, musician, filmmaker and occasional actor. Rivers resided and maintained studios in New York City, Southampton, Long Island, and Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

New York City Largest city in the United States

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Southampton (village), New York Village in New York, United States

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Zihuatanejo Town in Guerrero, Mexico

Zihuatanejo, or Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, is the fourth-largest city in the Mexican state of Guerrero. Politically the city belongs to the municipality of Zihuatanejo de Azueta in the western part of Guerrero, but both are commonly referred to as Zihuatanejo. It is on the Pacific Coast, about 240 km northwest of Acapulco, and belongs to a section of the Mexican Pacific Coast known as the Costa Grande. This town has been developed as a tourist attraction along with the modern tourist resort of Ixtapa, 5 km (3.1 mi) away. However, Zihuatanejo has kept its traditional town feel. The town is located on a well-protected bay which is popular with private boat owners during the winter months.

Contents

Early life

Larry Rivers was born in the Bronx to Samuel and Sonya Grossberg, Jewish immigrants from Ukraine. [1] [2] From 1940–45 he worked as a jazz saxophonist in New York City, changing his name to Larry Rivers in 1940 after being introduced as "Larry Rivers and the Mudcats" at a local pub. He studied at the Juilliard School of Music in 1945–46, along with Miles Davis, with whom he remained friends until Davis's death in 1991.

Miles Davis American jazz musician

Miles Dewey Davis III was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. He is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th century music. Davis adopted a variety of musical directions in a five-decade career that kept him at the forefront of many major stylistic developments in jazz.

Training and career

Rivers is considered by many scholars to be the "Godfather" and "Grandfather" of Pop art, because he was one of the first artists to really merge non-objective, non-narrative art with narrative and objective abstraction.

Pop art Art movement

Pop art is an art movement that emerged in the United Kingdom and the United States during the mid- to late-1950s. The movement presented a challenge to traditions of fine art by including imagery from popular and mass culture, such as advertising, comic books and mundane cultural objects. One of its aims is to use images of popular culture in art, emphasizing the banal or kitschy elements of any culture, most often through the use of irony. It is also associated with the artists' use of mechanical means of reproduction or rendering techniques. In pop art, material is sometimes visually removed from its known context, isolated, or combined with unrelated material.

Rivers took up painting in 1945 and studied at the Hans Hofmann School from 1947–48. [1] He earned a BA in art education from New York University in 1951. [1] He was a pop artist of the New York School, reproducing everyday objects of American popular culture as art. He was one of eleven New York artists featured in the opening exhibition at the Terrain Gallery in 1955. During the early 1960s Rivers lived in the Hotel Chelsea, notable for its artistic residents such as Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Arthur C. Clarke, Dylan Thomas, Sid Vicious and multiple people associated with Andy Warhol's Factory and where he brought several of his French nouveau réalistes friends like Yves Klein who wrote there in April 1961 his Manifeste de l'hôtel Chelsea, Arman, Martial Raysse, Jean Tinguely, Niki de Saint-Phalle, Christo, Daniel Spoerri or Alain Jacquet, several of whom left, like him, some pieces of art in the lobby of the hotel : for payment of their rooms. In 1965 Rivers had his first comprehensive retrospective in five important American museums. [ citation needed ]

Hans Hofmann was a German-born American painter, renowned as an artist and teacher in a career that spanned two generations and two continents, and is considered to have both preceded and influenced Abstract Expressionism. Born and educated near Munich, he was active in the early twentieth-century European avant-garde and brought a deep understanding and synthesis of the currents of Symbolism, Neoimpressionism, Fauvism, and Cubism when he emigrated to the United States in 1932. Hofmann's painting is characterized by its rigorous concern with pictorial structure and unity, spatial illusionism, and use of bold color for expressive means. The influential critic Clement Greenberg considered Hofmann's first New York solo show at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century in 1944 as a breakthrough in painterly versus geometric abstraction that heralded the development of abstract expressionism. In the decade that followed, Hofmann's recognition grew through numerous exhibitions, notably at the Kootz Gallery, culminating in major retrospectives at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1957) and Museum of Modern Art (1963) that traveled to venues throughout the United States, South America, and Europe. His works are in the permanent collections of major museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate Modern, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, National Gallery of Art, and Art Institute of Chicago.

New York University private research university in New York, NY, United States

New York University (NYU) is a private research university originally founded in New York City but now with campuses and locations throughout the world. Founded in 1831, NYU's historical campus is in Greenwich Village, New York City. As a global university, students can graduate from its degree-granting campuses in NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, as well as study at its 12 academic centers in Accra, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Sydney, Tel Aviv, and Washington, D.C.

The New York School was an informal group of American poets, painters, dancers, and musicians active in the 1950s and 1960s in New York City. They often drew inspiration from surrealism and the contemporary avant-garde art movements, in particular action painting, abstract expressionism, jazz, improvisational theater, experimental music, and the interaction of friends in the New York City art world's vanguard circle.

His final work for the exhibition was The History of the Russian Revolution , which was later on extended permanent display at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC. During 1967 he was in London collaborating with the American painter Howard Kanovitz. In 1968, Rivers traveled to Africa for a second time with Pierre Dominique Gaisseau to finish their documentary Africa and I, which was a part of the groundbreaking NBC series "Experiments in Television". During this trip they narrowly escaped execution as suspected mercenaries. [ citation needed ]

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Art museum in D.C., on the National Mall

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is an art museum beside the National Mall, in Washington, D.C., the United States. The museum was initially endowed during the 1960s with the permanent art collection of Joseph H. Hirshhorn. It was designed by architect Gordon Bunshaft and is part of the Smithsonian Institution. It was conceived as the United States' museum of contemporary and modern art and currently focuses its collection-building and exhibition-planning mainly on the post–World War II period, with particular emphasis on art made during the last 50 years.

Howard Kanovitz American artist

Howard Kanovitz was a pioneering painter in the Photorealist and Hyperrealist Movements, which emerged in the 1960s and 1970s in response to the abstract art movement.

Pierre Dominique Gaisseau French cinematographer

Pierre Dominique Gaisseau was a French documentary film-maker best known for his documentary Sky Above and Mud Beneath, which was awarded the first Oscar for a documentary. The film is an account of an expedition into the previously unexplored wilds of the Netherlands New Guinea accomplished in 1959 by a small team of French and Dutch explorers under Gaisseau's leadership, in the area where young Michael Rockefeller later disappeared. The film's images of stone age life and mock birth rituals made indelible imprints on the Western mind, repeated in various art and theater forms.

During the 1970s Rivers worked closely with Diana Molinari and Michel Auder on many video tape projects, including the infamous Tits, and also worked in neon. [3]

Michel Auder is a French photographer and filmmaker. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Neon lighting

Neon lighting consists of brightly glowing, electrified glass tubes or bulbs that contain rarefied neon or other gases. Neon lights are a type of cold cathode gas-discharge light. A neon tube is a sealed glass tube with a metal electrode at each end, filled with one of a number of gases at low pressure. A high potential of several thousand volts applied to the electrodes ionizes the gas in the tube, causing it to emit colored light. The color of the light depends on the gas in the tube. Neon lights were named for neon, a noble gas which gives off a popular orange light, but other gases and chemicals are used to produce other colors, such as hydrogen (red), helium (yellow), carbon dioxide (white), and mercury (blue). Neon tubes can be fabricated in curving artistic shapes, to form letters or pictures. They are mainly used to make dramatic, multicolored glowing signage for advertising, called neon signs, which were popular from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Rivers's legs appeared in John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 1971 film Up Your Legs Forever . [4]

Personal life

Rivers married Augusta Berger in 1945, and they had one son, Steven. [2] Rivers also adopted Berger's son from a previous relationship, Joseph, and reared both children after the couple divorced. [2] He married Clarice Price in 1961, a Welsh school teacher who cared for his two sons. [5] Rivers and Clarice Price had two daughters, Gwynne and Emma. After six years, they separated.

Shortly after, he lived and collaborated with Diana Molinari, who featured in many of his works of the 1970s. After that Rivers lived with Sheila Lanham, a Baltimore artist and poet. In the early 1980s, Rivers and East Village figurative painter Daria Deshuk lived together and in 1985 they had a son, Sam Deshuk Rivers (now Sam D. Rivers). At the time of his death in 2002, poet Jeni Olin was his companion. Rivers also sustained a relationship with poet Frank O'Hara in the late 1950s and delivered the eulogy at O'Hara's funeral in 1966.

Paintings

Washington Crossing the Delaware is a 1953 painting by Rivers. Made of charcoal, oil paint, and linen, it is painted on linen and is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. [6] In 1958 it was damaged by fire. [7]

Legacy

His primary gallery being the Marlborough Gallery in New York City. In 2002 a major retrospective of Rivers' work was held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. New York University bought correspondences and other documents from the Larry Rivers Foundation to house in their archive. [8] However, his daughters Gwynne and Emma objected to one particular film being displayed, as it depicts them naked as young children. The film's purpose is supposedly to be a documentation on their growth through puberty, but it was made without their consent. The matter was addressed in the December 2010 issue of the magazine Vanity Fair , and the October 2010 issue of Grazia . The film will never be publicly displayed as requested by both children. [ citation needed ]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 "Biography". Larry Rivers Foundation. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 Kimmelman, Michael (August 16, 2002). "Larry Rivers, Artist With an Edge, Dies at 78". New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
  3. J.D. Reed (June 10, 1985). "The Canvas is the Night: Once a Visual Vagrant, Neon Has a Stylish New Glow". Time magazine . Neon is the strongest, most direct form of illustration," argued Artist Larry Rivers in Rudi Stern's 1979 book Let There Be Neon. "And the canvas is the night.
  4. Jonathan Cott (16 July 2013). Days That I'll Remember: Spending Time With John Lennon & Yoko Ono. Omnibus Press. p. 74. ISBN   978-1-78323-048-8.
  5. McNay, Michael (August 17, 2002). "Larry Rivers: Rabelaisian American painter whose impressionistic and witty work predated pop art". The Guardian. London. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
  6. "Larry Rivers: Washington Crossing the Delaware". moma.org.
  7. "Permanent Revolution". New York magazine. September 10, 2012.
  8. Taylor, Kate (July 7, 2010). "Artist's Daughter Wants Videos Back". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-07-07.

Further reading