Larry Rivers

Biography

Larry Rivers (1923-2002) was an American artist, musician, filmmaker and occasional actor. Rivers resided and maintained studios in New York City, Southampton, Long Island, and Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Rivers is considered by many scholars to be the "Godfather" and "Grandfather" of Pop art, because he was one of the first artists to really merge non-objective, non-narrative art with narrative and objective abstraction.

Rivers took up painting in 1945 and studied at the Hans Hofmann School from 1947–48. He earned a BA in art education from New York University in 1951. He was a pop artist of the New York School, reproducing everyday objects of American popular culture as art. He was one of eleven New York artists featured in the opening exhibition at the Terrain Gallery in 1955. During the early 1960s Rivers lived in the Hotel Chelsea, notable for its artistic residents such as Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Arthur C. Clarke, Dylan Thomas, Sid Vicious and multiple people associated with Andy Warhol's Factory. In 1965 Rivers had his first comprehensive retrospective in five important American museums. In 2002 a major retrospective of Rivers' work was held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. New York University bought correspondences and other documents from the Larry Rivers Foundation to house in their archive.

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