July 22, 2016: Vered Gallery opens its celebration of Larry Rivers with the exhibition of two entire suites of works, Me and My Shadow and Oedipus Rex on Saturday evening with a gala opening to the public on Saturday July 30, from 8 – 11pm. Refreshments will be served.
“Washington Crossing the Delaware”, Larry Rivers, 1960
John Canada, the chief art critic of The New York Times called Larry Rivers “the cleverest, even the foxiest painter at work in the country,” an artist who “can do anything he wants…” At a time when Abstract Expressionism ruled under the mantra, ‘nothing should be recognizable’, Larry Rivers took up a seemingly ‘old fashioned, academic sort of figure painting producing in 1953 the mammoth 7 x 9 foot Washington Crossing the Delaware (MOMA New York: Permanent Collection), a work done with both the irreverence of wiped out and smeared surfaces and the strong reality of our country’s first heroic figure, George Washington. In 1949-50, Clement Greenberg, the powerful critic, called him ”an amazing beginner,” a ”better composer of pictures than was Bonnard himself in many instances.” De Kooning in his obscure but precise way once said that looking at Mr. Rivers’ art was ”like pressing your face in wet grass,” which summed up the mixture of sensations it could provoke.” Famed critic for Time Magazine Robert Hughes wrote: critic’s claim that “the innovations of Rauschenberg, and to a lesser degree Johns and the Pop artists, are incomprehensible without Rivers” is plainly excessive. Nonetheless, Rivers built an important bridge between the painterliness and “touch” of Abstract Expressionism and the mass imagery of Pop—pinups, photos, print, and mixed media.
“Boston Harbor and Shooting”, Larry Rivers, 1970
An Exhibition in Two Parts:
Me and My Shadow consists of four larger than life size ‘mirror’ images; each a sumptuous female figure and her shadow, created in 1970; constructions with photo-montage, canvas, plastic, wood and plexi.
Oedipus Rex, the 29 works comprising the entire suite created for the 1966 Igor Stravinsky Opera-Oratorio festival at Lincoln Center. VIEW in its entirety: all 29 panels. It revolves around the work by Sophocles describing the plague that descended on Thebes c.400 BCE during the reign of Oedipus the King. It is comprised of 29 oil and spray painted works on linen applied to wood free-formed shaped wood panels. This suite is being shown for the first time since it premiered in 1966, and offered only en suite. It is accompanied by 7 preliminary drawings and one stencil offered individually.
On August 7, at 11am Vered Gallery will host a brunch for a conversation on Larry Rivers and the exhibition between David Cohen; Editor/Publisher of artcritical and Catherine Gropper; former student of Larry Rivers, actress and playwright. Limited seating will be available. RSVP to email@example.com.
Vered Gallery is open daily from 11am – 6pm weekdays and Sunday and 11 to 9pm on Saturday. For further information, please contact Lauren Stiffelman, firstname.lastname@example.org, (212) 580-0835.