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Larry Poons | The Twenty-First Century

Larry Poons | The Twenty-First Century

Published on the occasion of the solo exhibition Larry Poons | The Twenty-First Century, curated by David Anfam for Roberto Polo Gallery, Brussels, from 19.01.2018 – 17.03.2018
€45.00
ISBN: 9791092599169
Sizes: 28 x 30,5 cm
Pages: 160 | English edition
Cover: hardcover
Publisher: Roberto Polo Gallery | 2018
Larry Poons (born Tokyo, Japan, 1 October 1937) lives and works in New York, as well as in Upstate New York. From 1955 to 1957 he studied composition at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music. Barnett Newman's 1959 exhibition at French & Company deeply impressed Poons: he relinquished music studies to enrol at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Between 1966 and 1970 Poons taught at the Art Students League of New York and has continued to do so since 1997. In the early 1960s Poons upheld his passion for music as the guitarist with The Druds, a short-lived avant-garde art band. It featured other prominent members of the New York art community—Walter de Maria and LaMonte Young respectively played the drums and saxophone, Patty Mucha was the lead singer while Jasper Johns wrote the lyrics.
 
At first associated with geometric imagery, in 1966 Poons reacted against the art critic Clement Greenberg’s pictorial theories to return to the essence of painting—tactile pigment itself. Thus he brilliantly reconciled the opposing currents of his storied predecessors Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning to establish a new painterly vision in the Western grand manner. Although this bold innovation harmed Poons’s critical reputation at the time, Frank Stella—the second major living artist from the heroic generation of colour painters in the 1960s—has always championed it. 
 
In the 1960s three New York galleries represented Poons: Green Gallery, subsequently Leo Castelli Gallery and then Lawrence Rubin Gallery. In 2016 Poons’s work was highly acclaimed by the international art press for his important participation in the exhibition Painting After Postmodernism curated by Barbara Rose and organised by Roberto Polo. The exhibition was inaugurated at the landmark Vanderborght building in Brussels and continues to tour.
 
Larry Poons’s painting Brown Sound featured on the front cover of Artforum magazine’s 1968 Summer issue. He has also appeared in several films, including Emile de Antonio’s 1972 Painters Painting: The New York Art Scene 1940-1970, Hollis Frampton’s 1966 Manual of Arms; Andy Warhol’s 1967 Portrait of the Artists, Peter Rosen’s 2006 Who Gets to Call It Art, Teri Wehn Damisch’s 2016 Painting After Postmodernism and Nathaniel Kahn’s 2017 The Price of Everything. 
 
Larry Poons's work is represented in many institutional collections, including those of The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Tate Modern, Van Abbemuseum, Whitney Museum of American Art and Yale University Art Gallery.

Essays by David Anfam and Martin Herbert