March 24, 2012– May 1, 2012
After receiving notoriety early in his career, Larry Poons has had nothing but time to perfect, and consistently evolve, his practice. The Tokyo-born American artist, who took a right turn into an art career after receiving formal music training, will be showing his most recent work at Mark Borghi Fine Art’s Palm Beach location. There couldn’t be a more fitting venue to showcase the artist’s wild, uninhibited, and musically inclined paintings.
Though his work has been categorized as hard-edged, op art, and abstract expressionist (among other things), Poons marches to the beat of his own drum. Each of his new paintings may contain several hundred colors of paint, but the individual brush strokes contrast and pop, and are organized in combinations and repetitions similar to the way a composer writes music. His new paintings are methodically mathematical while casually giving off an air of spontaneity.
Born in 1937 in Tokyo, Japan, Larry Poons became a prominent figure in Optical Art and in the Color-Field school of painting in New York. His paintings of the 1960s were characterized by dots of color placed according to a horizontal vertical and diagonal grid against a rich colored ground. The effect was a sense of movement–thus Optical Art. In 1965, he exhibited with the Op Artists, but the next year, his art became looser with small colored shapes floating in space. From that time, he changed to expressionism and abstraction. Poons has also created Earth Art such as his “cracked earth landscapes”. For these he uses layers of heavy impasto to create the effect of flowing lava and craggy plateaus.
A musician before becoming a painter, Larry Poons studied at the New England Conservatory of Music from 1955 to 1957, and was much influenced by the experimental compositions of John Cage. His interest in abstraction, especially the geometric forms of Piet Mondrian led him to painting, and in 1959, he studied at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts. He resides in New York City and has maintained a studio in Florida.