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4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life Ocula Report 4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life 15 Feb 2019 : Natalie King for Ocula

'Poems are like sentences that have taken their clothes off.' Marlene Dumas' poetic and sensual refrain accompanies her figurative watercolours on view in Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life, the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) in the southern state of Kerala, India (12 December 2018–29 March 2019).Dumas' new series...

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Ellen Altfest Ocula Conversation Ellen Altfest

The paintings of Ellen Altfest are ethereal in their detail. Fields of minutiae come together as pulsating images; small brushstrokes of oil paint accumulate over a series of months to single out seemingly innocuous subjects, such as a hand resting atop patterned fabric (The Hand, 2011) or a deep green cactus reaching upwards from beneath a bed of...

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Colomboscope 2019: Cross Currents and Dissonance Ocula Report Colomboscope 2019: Cross Currents and Dissonance 8 Feb 2019 : Nada Raza for Ocula

On the rooftop of the former Rio Hotel complex in Colombo, it was hard to ignore the high-rise buildings, still under construction, blocking all but a sliver of what used to be an open view over Slave Island, once an island on Beira Lake that housed slaves in the 19th century, and now a downtown suburb. The hotel was set alight during the...

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Lucas Samaras

b. 1936, Greece

Lucas Samaras (b. 1936, Kastoria, Greece) is a Greek artist best known for his photography, but his diverse practice also includes painting, sculpture, printmaking, performance, and installation art. In his photography, Samaras obsessively investigates his self-image, typically involving distortion or other transformations through digital and material processes. By simultaneously playing the observer and the observed, Samaras extends the Surrealist exploration of sexuality, terror, mortality, and metamorphosis, in a conscious effort to undermine the viewer. Lush textures and seductive colours are integral to Samaras' work whatever the media employed, as means of throwing us off balance.

Samaras moved to New York in 1948, and graduated from Rutgers University College of Arts and Sciences, New Jersey, in 1959. During this time he was closely involved with the 'happenings' of Allan Kaprow and Claes Oldenburg, among others. His first solo exhibition in New York was held at the Reuben Gallery in 1959. His work is in the collections of many international museums, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Tate Gallery, London, and Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. His first retrospective was in 1972 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Other major solo exhibitions include Pace Gallery, New York (1974), Denver Art Museum, Denver (1981-83), Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama (1991), Galerie Xippas Paris, France (1997), and Waddington Galleries, London (2004). A major exhibition of his self-portraits opened at the Whitney Museum in 2003. He was the 2002 winner of the American Academy Award in Art. In 2009, Samaras represented Greece at the Venice Biennale with an exhibition that spanned four decades of his practice.

Lucas Samaras lives and works in New York City.

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Featured Artworks

Head #166 by Lucas Samaras contemporary artwork Lucas SamarasHead #166, 1981 Pastel on paper
44.5 x 29.2 cm
Pace Gallery
Photo-Transformation by Lucas Samaras contemporary artwork Lucas SamarasPhoto-Transformation, 1973 Internal dye diffusion transfer print (Polaroid SX – 70)
10.8 x 8.9 cm
Pace Gallery
Box #13 by Lucas Samaras contemporary artwork Lucas SamarasBox #13, 1964 Mixed media
Pace Gallery
NO NAME 26 (Screens) by Lucas Samaras contemporary artwork Lucas SamarasNO NAME 26 (Screens), 2017 Pure pigment on paper mounted on Dibond
30.5 x 30.5 cm
Pace Gallery
NO NAME 24 (Screens) by Lucas Samaras contemporary artwork Lucas SamarasNO NAME 24 (Screens), 2017 Pure pigment on paper mounted on Dibond
30.5 x 30.5 cm
Pace Gallery

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