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Larry Poons

 (born 1937)
Larry Poons is active/lives in New York / Japan.  Larry Poons is known for op art, abstract expression, earth art.

Larry Poons

    POONZ  speaker-click to hear pronunciation  click to hear

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Larry Poons
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Larry Poons became a prominent figure in Optical Art and in the Color-Field school of painting in New York. His paintings of the 1960s were characterized by dots of color placed according to a horizontal vertical and diagonal grid against a rich colored ground. The effect was a sense of movement--thus Optical Art. In 1965, he exhibited with the Op Artists, but the next year, his art became looser with small colored shapes floating in space. From that time, he changed to expressionism and abstraction. Poons has also created Earth Art such as his "cracked earth landscapes". For these he uses layers of heavy impasto to create the effect of flowing lava and craggy plateaus.

A musician before becoming a painter, Larry Poons studied at the New England Conservatory of Music from 1955 to 1957, and was much influenced by the experimental compositions of John Cage. His interest in abstraction, especially the geometric forms of Piet Mondrian led him to painting, and in 1959, he studied at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts. He resides in New York City and has maintained a studio in Florida.

Sources include:
Les Krantz, "American Artists"
"The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art"
Larry Poons was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1937. For most of his career, Poons has been heavily influenced by his musical training. He started out as a guitar player with a high school hillbilly band in Queens, New York. Next he studied at Boston's New England Conservatory of Music from 1955 to 1957.

He switched to the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts and became a prominent figure in Optical Art and in the Color Field school of painting in New York City, to which he had moved in 1958. He made many changes in his techniques; for instance, he tried pouring paint on a canvas and spreading the paint around with a broom. He is a motorcycle enthusiast and his frequent cross-country trips may have inspired his landscape and architectural references.

Written and subimitte by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.

Sources include:
Time Magazine, November 8, 1968
From the internet,
Art in America, January 1997

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About  Larry Poons

Born:  1937 - Tokyo, Japan
Known for:  op art, abstract expression, earth art