Larry Poons is an American abstract painter. Born on October 1, 1937 in Tokyo, Japan, he studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Art Students League of New York in the early 1960s. Poons now lives and works in New York, returning to the League in 1997 where he continues to teach.
Though he originally rose to fame for his Op Art works of the 1960s—with monochrome canvases replete with staccato marks that draw the eye across the surface in a frenetic dance—Poons’ practice has shifted through various aesthetic modes, most recently in a loose, painterly style akin to Abstract Expressionism or Lyrical Abstraction. Employing formal, allover compositions that recalls early work of Willem de Kooning or perhaps Jackson Pollock, Poons’ surfaces exude a wild energy even as the artist worked into his 80s. Writing for Hyperallergic, critic Peter Malone remarks that “it is genuinely exhilarating to witness a painter who lived and worked at a time when the transgression of depth in the picture field was taboo, finally set free to discover, perhaps rediscover, the vitality that abstract painting can still engender." His distinct oeuvre, though varied, is united by the artist’s sense of rhythm, of an all over unity of surface and by a dynamic sense of color and light.
The work of Larry Poons is included in major museum and private collections throughout the United States and abroad including the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, Hirschorn, Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, L.A. County Museum of Art, LA, Museum of Fine Art, Boston, Museum of Fine Art, Houston, Museum of Contemporary Art, LA, Museum of Modern Art, NY, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Tate Gallery, London and The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.