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Mirrored Room

Lucas Samaras (American, born Greece, 1936). Mirrored Room, 1966. Mirror on wood, 96 x 96 x 120 inches (243.8 x 243.8 x 304.8 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1966 (K1966:15). © Lucas Samaras, courtesy Pace Gallery. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

© Lucas Samaras

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Lucas Samaras

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Lucas Samaras

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Lucas Samaras

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Lucas Samaras

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Lucas Samaras

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Lucas Samaras

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Lucas Samaras

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Lucas Samaras

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Lucas Samaras

American, born Greece, 1936

Mirrored Room, 1966

mirror on wood

overall: 96 x 96 x 120 inches (243.84 x 243.84 x 304.8 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1966

K1966:15

More Details

Inscriptions

no inscriptions

Provenance

the artist;
Pace Gallery, New York;
sold to Seymour H. Knox, Jr. for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, December 15, 1966

Class

Sculpture

Work Type

Construction (sculpture)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

One of the most beloved works of art in the collection of the Albright-Knox, Lucas Samaras’s Mirrored Room was designed for the viewer to experience from the inside. Before its creation, Samaras had become well known for a series of small sculptures encrusted with materials atypical in 1960s art, such as yarn, bones, pins, fake hair, pencils, razor blades, and taxidermy birds. These mysterious boxes referred to the human body and also contained autobiographical elements, in the manner of reliquaries. The Mirrored Room represented a departure from these fetish boxes, to a room-sized cube that contained little except a mirrored table and chair.

The idea for the Mirrored Room came to Samaras as early as 1963, when he was writing a short story entitled “Killman.” His title character lived in a mirrored house surrounded by endless reflections and repetitions of himself. As Samaras described it, “On one wall was a . . . box which upon opening revealed jeweled parts of a man, a mirror inside, mirror outside box, and an x-ray machine.”

In the Mirrored Room, Samaras created a space in which the only images are “drawn” by the reflections of visitors. He later wrote that with this work he was engaging with the entire history of mirrors, from their appearance in fairy tales to fun houses. He felt the end result created “a space, an environment, a fantasy, a world of artificiality, a complicated panorama.” He continued: “Being imbedded in this huge crystalline structure that has no top, bottom, or sides, this feeling of suspension, this feeling of polite claustrophobia or acrophobia, this feeling of fakery or loneliness seems complex, associatively enveloping and valid to me as a work of art, wonder, sensuality, pessimistic theory, and partial invisibility.”

Label from Lucas Samaras: Reflections, June 21, 2014–January 4, 2015

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