It is not surprising that Larry Poons’ gestural, emotional, and improvisational paintings are borne from an artist who originally studied to become a professional musician. In the 1960s, Poons left the New England Conservatory of Music to pursue a career in painting, a decision honored with nearly immediate success—Poons’ early works, Op art paintings of circles and dots, were included in a MoMA exhibition when he was just 28. These illusionistic paintings evoked rhythm and an underlying musicality, yet a move toward Abstract Expressionism would introduce an even greater presence of the artist’s psyche is his work. In Poons’ action paintings, his gestures and energy were expressed through buckets of paint he had thrown at the canvas. Even his later works, painted by brush, recall the same energy in their expressive use of color and seemingly infinite number of frenetic brushstrokes.
American, b. 1937, Ogikubo, Japan, based in New York, NY, United States