(1923 – 2002), United States

Larry Rivers Biography

Born in 1923, Larry Rivers was an American artist most recognized for his contributions to Pop Art. Born as Yitzroch Loiza Grossberg in the Bronx, New York, the artist changed his name after being introduced as 'Larry Rivers and the Mudcats' at a New York night club during his ealy years as a Jazz musician. He attended the Julliard School of Music in 1944 to study music theory. The following year he came across a painting by Braque and, encouraged to begin painting, enrolled in the Hans Hoffmann School of Painting from 1947 to 1948. He decided to continue his studies after he completed school at Hoffmann, and studied a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Education from New York University. Since graduating from NYU in 1951, he received honorary doctorates from various other institutions. He held his first solo exhibition in 1949 at the Jane Street Gallery in New York. That same year he began socialising with the poet Kenneth Koch and Josh Ashbery, whom he would later collaborate with. Although he was interested in Abstract Expressionism in the late 1940s, he rather adopted a more naturalistic style of painting and chose to depict naturalistic subject matter. During the early to mid 1950s, Rivers drew inspiration from recognizable paintings such as Manet's Olympia and artists like Paul Cezanne and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, yet appropriated the themes to demonstrate the influence of contemporay culture, mass media and commercialisation. Rivers was among the very first to incorporate such ideas into his art. Andy Warhol was influenced by Rivers and considered Rivers an important component to the development of Pop Art. His first retrospective was in 1965 and included 170 works comprised of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints. The retrospective toured five museums in America. In the 1970s he begin experimenting with film, documenting his travels to Russia and Africa. In 1990 Rivers work was a retrospective at the Butler Institute of American Art. In 1991, he was included in exhibitions at the Royal Academy called 'Pop Art' and 'American Realism and Figurative Art 1952-1991' which travelled to five museums in Japan. Several of his works were included in 'Copier/Creer de Turner a Picasso' organized by the Louvre in 1993. 'Hand-painted Pop: American Art in Transition 1956-62' at the Museum of Contemporay Art in Los Angeles also inclued a number of his works, and travelled to the Whitney Museum in 1993. One of his three-dimensional works was selected for the Venice Biennale in 1993. Towards the end of his life, Rivers worked on paintings of fashions. Upon his death in August 2002, obituaries appeared in publications worldwide, including on the front page of the New York Times. 

Larry Rivers
featured artworks

Small Drugstore by Larry Rivers contemporary artwork painting, mixed media
Larry Rivers Small Drugstore, 1959 Oil and mixed media on wood
23.5 x 21.9 cm
Hollis Taggart Request Price & Availability
Figures Coming Through the Wall by Larry Rivers contemporary artwork sculpture
Larry Rivers Figures Coming Through the Wall, 1959-1960 Steel with painted wood base

Hollis Taggart
Cigar Box by Larry Rivers contemporary artwork sculpture, print
Larry Rivers Cigar Box, 1966 Screenprint, lithograph, and collage on wood; canvas and paper in wooden box
Marian Goodman Gallery Request Price & Availability

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