For over 60 years, Lucas Samaras has worked fluidly between mediums in a manner that eludes categorization. The artist’s eccentric and uncanny objects often combine formal strategies of Minimalism with the haptic materiality of everyday objects. Such is the case with Cubes and Trapezoids (1993–94), which joined the collection in 2003 and will be presented at Dia Beacon for the first time since its 1994 debut at Pace Gallery in New York, together with a significant loan of one of the artist’s immersive mirrored rooms, Doorway (1966–2007).
The cubes consist of 24 totemic wooden volumes, covered in pale gray Nevamar laminate with cutouts of various geometrical shapes, that are arranged in an expansive grid. A material index of Samaras’s move to a new high-rise apartment building featuring the same gray surface treatment, the sculptures merge the vocabulary of the Minimal cube with elements drawn from the artist’s domestic architecture and autobiography. The related wall-works, the trapezoids, are made up of eight irregular quadrilateral forms nestled within uniform rectangles. The non-reflective surfaces of the laminated and latex-painted trapezoids, which nonetheless respond to light, complement the mirrored panels of Doorway. Together these psychologically charged objects literally and materially evoke the body, perverting the analytical geometries of Minimalism with the messy realities of identity and interiority.
Lucas Samaras is curated by Jordan Carter, curator and co–department head, with Liv Cuniberti, curatorial assistant.
Lucas Samaras was born in Kastoria, Greece, in 1936. He lives and works in New York City.