Larry Rivers

American, 1923 - 2022


Larry Rivers was an American artist whose work fuses the lively mark-making of Abstract Expressionism with the commercial images of advertising. Born in the Bronx, NY, in 1923 to Jewish Ukrainian immigrants, he changed his name at 17 from Yitzroch Loiza Grossberg to Larry Rivers. In the late 1940s he studied with Hans Hofmann.

Often viewed as a precursor to Pop Art and artists like Andy Warhol, Rivers’ paintings and his ironic attitude towards his own and others’ artwork marked a significant break from his peers, and the more serious intentions of the Abstract Expressionist painters that came before him.

From the 1970s onwards, Rivers integrated airbrushing, stenciling, printmaking, and assemblage into his oevre. He was an integral member of the Chelsea Hotel scene as well as a frequent guest at Andy Warhol’s Factory.

The artist had a major retrospective at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 2002, the same year as his death on August 14, 2002 in New York, NY at the age of 78.