Remembrance

Redcoats - Mist 1970 by Larry Rivers 1923-2002
Larry Rivers, Boston Massacre #5 (Redcoats in the Mist), 1970, serigraph

New, and currently on display in the Brown Study Room at DOMA is a series of twelve serigraph prints by Post-Abstract Expressionist, Larry Rivers. The body of work, Larry Rivers and the Boston Massacre (1970), juxtaposes historical events that occurred two hundred years apart to re-examine the pursuit of civil liberties and personal freedom.

Rivers saw many similarities between civilians protesting back in 1770 and those happening around him throughout the 1960s and 70s civil rights movement. As a basis for this body of work and to suggest the similarities he was experiencing, Rivers looked to the famous engraving, The Bloody Massacre Perpetrated in King Street, March 5, 1770, by silversmith Paul Revere.

Larry Rivers, 1970, serigraph
Larry Rivers, Boston Massacre #7 (Some (Visual) Aftermath on the Boston Massacre),1970, serigraph

As we take time to commemorate those who have died while serving in the military the Larry Rivers and the Boston Massacre exhibition is on display at the Museum of Art just in time as Memorial Day approaches, which interestingly became an official federal holiday in 1971. Not only is Memorial Day a day of remembrance, but a day to look forwards, unofficially marking the beginning of summer.

Rivers’ use of color along with his unique style pair well with the welcoming of summer. Rivers is not only considered Post-Abstract Expressionist, but he is also given the name of the founding-father of Pop Art. Andy Warhol, a Pop Artist we all know and love, described Rivers’ work as “unique –it wasn’t Abstract Expressionism and it wasn’t Pop, it fell into the period in between.”

Enlisted Man and Officer 1970 by Larry Rivers 1923-2002
Larry Rivers, Boston Massacre #7 (Some (Visual) Aftermath on the Boston Massacre), 1970, serigraph

Visit the Larry Rivers and the Boston Massacre exhibition to discover what similarities you find between then and now.

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One thought on “Remembrance

  1. This exhibit is on display until September 4, 2014. Please take time to view Larry Rivers work enmeshing our struggle for independence from Great Britain juxtaposed with the ongoing struggle for Civil Rights. With the recent events in Ferguson, MO, it is especially poignant. When viewing this work, one must ask, “When will man simply be judged for what he is?”

    When will differences cease to drive reaction? It is a question the United States has been asking itself since the days of Lexington and Concord. Larry Rivers is asking us to look into our souls.

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