Luster Willis

two figures, one holding a child facing eachother dressed in yellow, organge and green.
Luster Willis
Standing Together
Tempera paint, glitter, glue, blue ballpoint pen, and graphite pencil on wove paper.
19 15/16 x 12 5/16 in. (50.6 x 31.3 cm)
Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection and purchase on the Manley Family Fund.
© 2020 Estate of Luster Willis / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Living in Mississippi, Willis created collages and experimented with painting and drawing on a variety of materials such as fabric, plywood, cardboard, Plexiglas, embroidery, and school tablets. His early works were often inspired by popular culture such as television, cartoons, billboards, and other mass-produced commercial media. He had been exposed to avant-garde art directly during World War II, when he served in France and Austria. This drawing is based on Picasso's La Vie, in the Cleveland Museum of Art. It depicts two huddled figures, one reaching out to a third. Although the third figure appears disapproving, they all stand together, as Willis's title suggests.

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