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Artists Larry Rivers

Larry Rivers

American Artist, Sculptor, Filmmaker and Musician

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Movements and Styles: Pop Art, Abstract Expressionism

Born: August 1923 - New York

Died: August 2002 - Southampton, Long Island

"The aesthetics of modernism, which we artists took as an absolute religion governing the present and indeed all of the future, now strikes me as I reassess it, as merely having been a style."

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Synopsis

Larry Rivers was one of the most brash and brilliant figures of the post-war American art-world, an enfant terrible of the New York School, who rebelled against his Abstract Expressionist masters without ever abandoning the bold, gestural painting style he had learned in the painting classes of Hans Hoffman. A brilliant figurative artist who was seduced by the pop culture of the sixties, Rivers was adopted by the Pop Art generation of Warhol et al, but his continuing investment in an idea of the artist's touch, and his unique, expressive compositional style, meant that he never sat comfortably in that category either. While there is no doubting Warhol's assertion that Rivers's personality was "very Pop", he ultimately occupies a tricky and liminal position in the modern art world, on the boundary of abstraction and figuration, the serious and the throwaway, the Modernist and the Pop: of what the critic Clement Greenberg famously distinguished as "Avant-Garde and Kitsch".

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