Larry Poons

born 1937

Larry Poons, ‘[no title]’ 1964
[no title] 1964
© Larry Poons/VAGA, New York and DACS, London 2022
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In Tate Britain

Artist biography

Larry Poons born 1937

American abstract painter. Born in Tokyo, Japan, of American parents and taken to the USA 1938. Studied composition at the New England Conservatory of Music 1955-7, but turned instead to painting and spent about six months at the Boston Museum Art School 1958. Began by attempting to transpose musical structures in terms of abstract geometrical compositions. Made his first dot paintings in 1962-3 with single dots, all of one colour, arranged along horizontal and vertical axes on a large monochrome field. First one-man exhibition at the Green Gallery, New York, 1963. From 1964 his work became richer and more complex through the introduction of ellipses, a greater number of colours for the dots or ellipses, and alignments 4563 to the vertical. The underlying grid structure was abandoned in 1967 when, partly under the influence of Olitski, he began to work with larger and looser lozenges of colour which were irregularly distributed, then from 1970 to cover the picture surface with poured layers of thick, coagulated paint. Lives in New York.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.619

Wikipedia entry

Lawrence M. "Larry" Poons (born October 1, 1937) is an American abstract painter. Poons was born in Tokyo, Japan, and 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, he 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 to 1970 and currently teaches at the League (since 1997).

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