Larry Rivers died nine years ago on August 14, three days short of his 79th birthday. He has been called the grandfather of pop art, providing a transition from abstract expressionism to Warhol and Lichtenstein.
Well, maybe. His work seems highly idiosyncratic, especially for the time – i.e., Fifties and Sixties.
Interestingly, Rivers (who was born Yitzhok Grossberg of Russian immigrant parents) had started out planning to be a musician, studying at Juilliard – where he became a lifelong friend of Miles Davis – and working as a jazz saxophonist.
But, multi-talented, Rivers left Juililard and took up art, studying with Hans Hofman initially. He also made films. video and worked with neon.
Below, Rivers’ portrait of Calo Biotti. A very good selection of his work can be seen here.