Jack of Sparks, 2007
Acrylic on canvas
150.5 x 226.7 cms (59 1/4 x 89 1/4 ins)
 

PRESS RELEASE

Larry Poons: New Paintings

12 September - 10 October 2007

In the early 60s Larry Poons was thinking of giving up his training in musical composition at the famous New England Conservatory of Music to become a painter. His father was totally against the idea. Larry, meantime had been in contact with Barnett Newman who explained that Larry was a talented painter and would have a good career. His father relented and Larry began a meteoric rise to become one of the hottest properties in the contemporary art world of New York in the 60s.

A habitue of Max's Kansas City and friend of Bob Dylan, Poons became an integral part of the burgeoning artistic scene of downtown New York. He opened up his own cafe called Epitome, where Beat poets such as Kerouac would read their latest work. His first show was at Richard Bellamy's legendary Green Gallery at the age of 26. At 28 his paintings were exhibited in the MoMA's Responsive Eye exhibition of Op art.

His early works, the so-called dot paintings, have obvious contemporary relevance. And his later practice, of literally throwing buckets of paint onto the canvas, made him the most active of 'action painters'.

In recent years Poons has returned to using a brush. The current works are large canvases covered with an incredible armoury of different small brush marks. Although abstract, they bring to mind associations with Post Impressionist painters such as Vuillard and Seurat. Imagery flickers in and out of focus. As John Richardson said about these works, 'Turn your back on these paintings at your peril.'

This exhibition is in celebration of Poons' 70th birthday.

A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition with a text by Frank Stella.