Larry Rivers

About Artist: He was born Yitzroch Loiza Grossberg, in the Bronx, New York in 1923 to Samuel and Sonya Grossberg. In 1940 he began a career as a professional Jazz Saxophonist. He soon changed his name, after being introduced as “Larry Rivers and the Mudcats” at a New York City club. In 1942 he enlisted in the United States Army Air corps, but within a year was honorably discharged from the armed forces for medical reasons. In 1944 he studied music theory and composition at the Juilliard School of Music, where he met and became friends with Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. In 1945, fellow musician Jack Freilicher showed Larry Rivers a painting by Georges Braque and in that same year after seeing the Cubist work, Rivers started painting. From 1947 to 1948 he studied in Hans Hofmann’s School of painting. Following his experiences with Hoffman, he continued his studies and in 1951, he received his BA in art education from New York University. Since graduating NYU in 1951, he received honorary doctorates from several other institutions. In 1949 he had his first one-man exhibition at the Jane Street Gallery in New York. This same year, he met and became friends with John Ashbery, and Kenneth Koch.

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