Art: Menaced Skin

When Lucas Samaras was a small boy in Macedonia, his father was the village furrier. "I spent a couple of summers in the business to find out what it was all about," he recalls. "Part of it was to stretch wet skins, fur down, on a board and pin the edges down. Later, when the skin is dry, you remove the pins and the skin is hard." In some ways this fragment of memory suggests the works of art Samaras was to make in adulthood: the pins, the textures, the extreme sensual contrasts (soft...

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