Rivers, Larry, 1923–2002, American artist, b. New York City as Yitzroch Loisa Grossberg. Originally a jazz saxophonist, he turned to art in the 1940s. Reacting against abstract expressionism , Rivers turned to the figure, as in his 1954 series of nude studies, including Double Portrait of Birdie. An excellent draftsman, a multimedia experimenter, and a cultural provocateur, he was among the first to use popular images in his paintings and was thus a forerunner of the pop art movement. Rivers reached the height of his powers in the mid-1960s and continued to paint in a figurative style, often incorporating into his work stenciled lettering, photographs, and other elements. His themes range from eroticism to social concern, and his canvases are painted in a lively and seemingly spontaneous manner, usually with a cleverly ironic edge.
See his autobiography (1992) study by S. Hunter (1969).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: American and Canadian Art: Biographies
Browse by Subject
- Earth and the Environment +-
- History +-
- Literature and the Arts +-
- Medicine +-
- People +-
- Philosophy and Religion +-
- Places +-
- Australia and Oceania
- Britain, Ireland, France, and the Low Countries
- Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic Nations
- Germany, Scandinavia, and Central Europe
- Latin America and the Caribbean
- Oceans, Continents, and Polar Regions
- Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and the Balkans
- United States, Canada, and Greenland
- Plants and Animals +-
- Science and Technology +-
- Social Sciences and the Law +-
- Sports and Everyday Life +-