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Vered Gallery Opens Celebration of Larry Rivers

On Friday, July 29th, Vered Gallery and Director Janet Lehr celebrated the opening of the CELEBRATION OF LARRY RIVERS with the exhibition of two entire suites of works, Me and My Shadow and Oedipus Rex at a private gala opening. The exhibit opened to the public on Saturday, July 30th and will run through September 12th.

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Janet Lehr

Janet Lehr

Guests included: Julie Hayek, Janna Bullock, Emanuele Fiore, Amanda Bourne, Karine Macguder, Sharon Browne, Richard Berchick, Susan Steiger, Michael Goldberg, Jeryl Goldberg, Pat Abayev, Margarita Abayev, Aaron Goodstone, Clayton Munsey, Cole Rumbough, Julie Walker, Sharif Elganal, Rebeka Elganal, Julie Romo, Maria Fishel, Ken Fishel, Corneila Bregman, Gordon Gilbert, and Michelle Kidwell.

Julie Hayek and Sharon Browne

Julie Hayek and Sharon Browne

Emanuele Fiore and Janna Bullock

Emanuele Fiore and Janna Bullock

Amanda Bourne and Karine Macguder

 Amanda Bourne and Karine Macguder

Cole Rumbough and Cornelia Bregman

Cole Rumbough and Cornelia Bregman

Sharif Elganal and Rebeka Elganal

Sharif Elganal and Rebeka Elganal

Pat Abayev and Margarita Abayev

Pat Abayev and Margarita Abayev

Gordon Gilbert and Michelle Kidwell Gilbert

Gordon Gilbert and Michelle Kidwell Gilbert

Michael Goldberg, Janet Lehr, and Jeryl Goldberg

Michael Goldberg, Janet Lehr, and Jeryl Goldberg

John Canaday, 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.

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Larry Rivers, Washington Crossing the Delware, 1953

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.

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.

Me and My Shadow, Shadow and Substance I

Me and My Shadow, Shadow and Substance I

Me and My Shadow, Shadow and Substance II

Me and My Shadow, Shadow and Substance II

Me and My Shadow, Shadow and Substance III

Me and My Shadow, Shadow and Substance III

Me and My Shadow; Shadow and Substance IV

Me and My Shadow; Shadow and Substance IV

Oedipus Rex, the 29 works comprising the entire suite created for the 1966 Igor Stravinsky Opera-Oratorio festival at Lincoln Center. 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. VIEW in its entirety: all 29 panels.

Oedipus Rex

Oedipus Rex

Oedipus Rex 2

Oedipus Rex Closeup

Guests included: Julie Hayek, Janna Bullock, Emanuele Fiore, Amanda Bourne, Karine Macguder, Sharon Browne, Richard Berchick, Susan Steiger, Michael Goldberg, Jeryl Goldberg, Pat Abayev, Margarita Abayev, Aaron Goodstone, Clayton Munsey, Cole Rumbough, Julie Walker, Sharif Elganal, Rebeka Elganal, Julie Romo, Maria Fishel, Ken Fishel, Corneila Bregman, Gordon Gilbert, and Michelle Kidwell.

John Canaday, 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.

 

On Sunday August 7th, Vered Gallery will host a complementary Brunch and Conversation on Larry Rivers between David Cohen(Editor/Publisher of Artcritical) and Catherine Gropper (former student of Larry Rivers, artist and playwright). Brunch is from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. and conversation starts at 11 a.m.  Limited seating is available. RSVP to both lauren@rcourihaycpr.com andjanetlehr@veredart.com.

Vered Gallery is located at 68 Park Place in East Hampton, and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday.