Birdie and Joseph

1955
Larry Rivers (American, 1923–2002)


Dimensions

Height x width: 13 x 25 in. (33 x 63.5 cm)

Accession Number

2003.44

Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

On View

Corridor parallel to Huntington Entrance (100.8)

Collections

Americas, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Paintings

Larry Rivers’ distinctive style merged drawing into painting, leaving unfinished passages and remnants of lines drawn with graphite. In the 1950s, many of Rivers’ portraits were considered hightly provocative, because he often chose to depict his subjects life-sized and naked. In this small work, Rivers presents a close up of his mother-in-law and stepson, who stare out in a manner more detached and distant than familiar and loving.

Provenance

The artist. By 1994, with Melvin N. Blake (b. 1927 – d. 1999) and Frank M. Purnell (b. 1930 – d. 1994), New York; gift of the estate of Melvin Blake to MFA, Boston, January 22, 2003

Credit Line

Melvin Blake and Frank Purnell Collection

Copyright

© Estate of Larry Rivers