New York

Lucas Samaras

Pace | 32 East 57th Street

At one time or another, Lucas Samaras has played Svengali to almost every currently fashionable art practice. His Polaroid images predate the reconstructed narcissism of the current but not-so-new school of photo self-portraitists; his psychedelic, quiltlike “Reconstructions” of the mid ’70s were putting in “more love hours than can ever be repaid,” a decade before Mike Kelly; and the legacy of his particular brand of scato-fetishism can be felt in just about every project that comes under the all-purpose umbrella of “installation art”—whether phobic, abject, or sexually transgressive. Yet despite, or perhaps because of this history of stylistic deviancy, Samaras still seems to elicit caution rather than respect, skepticism rather than canonization. Three decades of work marked by an unholy alliance of the seraphic and the manipulative has too often been dismissed as adulteration rather

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