© Estate of Larry Rivers / VAGA at ARS, NY and DACS, London 2019
Larry Rivers began painting in 1947 and studied with the German émigré artist Hans Hofmann. Much of his early work related to Abstract Expressionism but he developed a figurative style and in the 60s he became associated with the younger generation of Pop Artists. His subject matter was inspired by popular culture and works by R.B. Kitaj, and Andy Warhol also in the University Collection. This screenprint is number 5 of a portfolio of 13 entitled Boston Massacre. On the 5th March 1770 in Boston town, British soldiers shot into an angry mob of men and boys who were taunting a British sentry standing guard at the city's customs house. Four were killed instantly, one died four days later and six were wounded. The presence of British troops in Boston had been a sore point for some time and this instance fuelled the rallying cry of the patriots. This series visually fragments the story of the Boston Massacre weaving other personal and historical narratives into it.