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Larry Poons

Lawrence Poons

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Lawrence Poons better known as Larry Poons, is an abstract painter who was born in Tokyo, Japan. He studied from 1955 to 1957 at the New England Conservatory of Music, with the intent of becoming a professional musician. In 1959, he enrolled at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and also studied at the Art Students League of New York.

He rose to prominence in the 1960s with paintings of circles and ovals on solid—often brilliantly colored—backgrounds. These paintings conveyed a sense of movement, and were categorized by some as op art. Although he exhibited with optical artists in 1965, by 1966 he had moved away from the optical art towards looser and more painterly abstract canvases. Evolving out of impersonal color field painting of the mid-'60s (also known as post-painterly abstraction), Poons' has developed a style that is set apart from the abstract expressionism of the '50s thanks to the emphasis on the texture of the paint.

He currently resides primarily in New York City.

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Lawrence Poons (born October 1, 1937), better known as Larry Poons, is an abstract painter who was born in Tokyo, Japan. He studied from 1955 to 1957 at the New England Conservatory of Music, with the intent of becoming a professional musician. After seeing Barnett Newman's exhibition at French and Company in 1959, Poons gave up musical composition and enrolled at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He also studied at the Art Students League of New York. Poons taught at The Art Students League from 1966–1970 and currently teaches at the League (since 1997).

Associated with Op Art, Hard-edge painting, Color Field painting, Lyrical Abstraction and Abstract Expressionism, Poons has challenged critical expectations throughout his career, transitioning through several distinct phases of work. According to New York Times critic Roberta Smith, "Since emerging in the 1960s, Mr. Poons has shown a strong preference for allover fields of pulsing color, even if his means of achieving them have varied enormously." Poons first rose to prominence in the 1960s with paintings of circles and ovals on solid—often brilliantly colored—backgrounds. These works, often referred to as the Dot paintings conveyed a sense of movement, and were categorized as op art. Along with artists including Donald Judd, Claes Oldenburg, and Lucas Samaras, Poons was represented by the Green Gallery in the early 1960s. In the later part of the 1960s, he showed with Leo Castelli. Although he exhibited with optical artists in 1965, by 1966 he had moved away from the optical art towards looser and more painterly abstract canvases. Though many people criticized Poons's move away from the dot paintings, Frank Stella championed his progress, leaving a congratulatory note for the artist at his gallery. His painting, Brown Sound was featured on the cover of the Summer issue of Artforum in 1968. Poons was included in Emile de Antonio's 1972 documentary Painters Painting: The New York Art Scene 1940-1970 and he was the subject of Hollis Frampton's 1966 film, Manual of Arms. Poons is also included in Andy Warhol's 1967 Portrait of the Artists, which includes Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Roy Lichtenstein, Lee Bontecou, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Morris, and James Rosenquist—all of whom had collaborated on a series of prints through Leo Castelli. Poons is also a feature figure, along with Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter, and Njideka Akunyili Crosby in Nathaniel Kahn's 2018 documentary, The Price of Everything, which debuted at Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by HBO.

Although Poons gave up musical composition, he played guitar with The Druds, a short-lived avant-garde noise music art band that featured prominent members of the New York proto-conceptual art and minimal art community in the early 1960s. Walter de Maria played the drums, LaMonte Young played the saxophone, Patty Mucha was the lead singer, and Jasper Johns wrote the lyrics.

As a vintage motorcycle racer who divides his time between painting and motorcycle racing, Poons has been given special awards from the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA), including the 500 cc Hailwood Cup in 1998 and 2003, and the 2003 John & Ginny Demoisey Trophy for road racing couples, with his wife, painter Paula DeLuccia. He races a Matchless G50 and a Ducati 250.

This is a part of the Wikipedia article used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). The full text of the article is here →


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Artworks of Larry Poons are removed from WikiArt due to a copyright infringement notice.
Blocked due to a copyright claim
  • Out, 1967 www.tate.org.uk
  • #4, 1972
  • Abstract #2, 1972
  • Big Purple, 1972
  • Cat's Eye, 97B-5, 1997
  • Untitled (from Conspiracy: The Artist as Witness), 1971
  • Cotherman, 1981
  • Cutting Water, 1970
  • Express Train, 1971
  • Kojiro, 1973
  • Mary Queen of Scots, 1965
  • Merton Eaves, 1988
  • Minter, 1975
  • Parrot Island, 1974
  • Poorchess, 1982
  • Reuben - As the Mississippi Flows on to the Sea, 1965
  • Santorini, 1979
  • Secret Sun, 90A-3, 1990
  • Skiny Slip, 1973
  • Terrangel, 1978
  • Untitled (81 G-5), 1981
  • Untitled, 1964
  • Untitled, 1968
  • Untitled, 1972
  • Untitled, 2009
  • Untitled, #1, 1960
  • Untitled, from Ten Works by Ten Painters, 1964
  • untitledduplicate, 1954