about the artist
Lawrence M. "Larry" Poons (b. 1937) is an American abstract painter associated with Op Art, Hard-edge painting, Colour Field painting, Lyrical Abstraction and Abstract Expressionism throughout his career, transitioning through several distinct phases of work.
It is not surprising that Larry Poons’ gestural, emotional, and improvisational paintings are born 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 honoured with nearly immediate success—Poons’ early works, Op Art paintings of circles and dots, were included in a MoMA exhibition in 1965 when he was just 28 years old. 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 in 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 colour and a seemingly infinite number of frenetic brushstrokes.