AMERICAN, b. 1937

Larry Poons is an American artist known for his pursuit of painting, which began in 1959. From 1955 to 1957 Poons studied composition at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. At first associated with geometric imagery, in 1966 Poons reacted against Clement Greenberg’s pictorial theories to return to the essence of painting—tactile pigment itself. His paintings from the early 1960s consist of optical arrangements of dots and ellipses that float against monochromatic backgrounds. The formal elements of each of these paintings were determined by plotting points on a gridded matrix according to predetermined mathematical principles. By establishing rules that generated each painting, thus eliminating the artist from the process..

Beginning in the 1970s Poons began pouring, throwing, and splashing paint onto the surface of the canvas. By the late 1970s, he had begun to build the surface of his paintings with foam, rubber, rope, and typewriter paper, causing the works to become increasingly heavy and extending dramatically into space. In the early 1990s, Poons returned to his use of the paintbrush, and his work continues in this vein today. Working in the surround, he continues to paint on an entire roll of canvas which is hung on a circular framework that stretches the length of his studio.

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