The exceptional power of Lucas Samaras’s pastels is not apparent at first when one walks into the gallery because of the overwhelming impression of the wallpaper which surrounds them and creates so much visual excitement and pleasure in its own right, as the artist himself no doubt intended since he designed it especially for Isabelle Dervaux, Acquavella Curator of Modern and Contemporary Drawings, the curator who captured this collection over the last four years of the unique artist’s early work in this line, but if you linger long enough a quite extraordinary hidden world of dreamlike images within images emerges.
DEVOTED TO THE PASTELS OF LUCAS SAMARAS
Dreams in Dust: The Pastels of Lucas Samaras
May 6 through August 21, 2016
**Press Preview: Thursday, May 5, 10-11:30 AM**
New York, NY, April 4, 2016 — During the first three decades of his long career, American artist Lucas Samaras (b. 1936 in Greece) turned to pastel to produce small, intimate works that explored themes present in his better-known paintings, sculptures, and installations. He was attracted to pastel’s bright colors and shimmering surface, and also to the fact that it was an unfashionable medium in postwar American art. Dreams in Dust: The Pastels of Lucas Samaras, on view beginning May 6, celebrates the gift of forty-eight works to the Morgan from the artist and his dealer Arne Glimcher. Dating to the years 1958-1983, they range in subject matter from dreamlike seascapes and interiors to self-portraits, nudes, and still life. The installation of the exhibition was conceived in collaboration with the artist, who designed a wallpaper for it. The works will be presented in chronological order highlighting four successive phases of production. Dreams in Dust will remain on view at the Morgan through August 21.
“The Morgan is delighted to present this exhibition of Lucas Samaras’s work in a medium noted for its vibrancy,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the museum. “His pastels are extraordinarily diverse in subject and composition, and offer a highly personal look at the artist early in his career. We are deeply grateful to Lucas and to Arne Glimcher for their gift to the Morgan and for their involvement in this important exhibition.”