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Larry Zox

 (1937 - 2006)
Larry Zox was active/lived in New York, Iowa.  Larry Zox is known for geometric, other non objective painting.

Larry Zox

Biography from the Archives of askART

A native of Des Moines (born 1936) now living in New York, Larry Zox is an abstract artist who utilizes color and space in a unique way.  He utilizes color combinations with references to nature, music, or the city that surrounds him.  But often there is a black section that is placed in the work for the sake of the painting's aesthetic alone. The work ranges from the harmonious to the unexpected. All the work is done with a tremendous amount of technical control.

Zox received his education including the study of Oriental Art History at Oklahoma University, Norman, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa and with German artist George Grosz at the Des Moines Art Center. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and has received grants from the National Council of the Arts and the Ester and Adolph Gottlieb Foundation.  He has been an Artist-in Residence at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Dartmouth College, and Yale University.

Zox moved to Minimalist acrylics in the 1960s, featuring geometric shapes such as chevrons, diamonds and triangles. In the early 1970s, large-scale color fields were centralized with bands of color along the sides, sometimes as wide as the central color, moving diagonally or vertically downward, singly or in groups.

During the next several years, colors were applied in looping lines with oil sticks and brushes, and larger areas were sometimes poured on and spread into wet grounds. Later, narrow panels such as "Catawba" emphasize color changes in the ground using many shades of one color, often muted or darkened with grey, in thick, steady brushstrokes.

Zox's teaching positions include: artist-in-residence, Juniata College, 1964; guest critic, Cornell University, 1967; artist-in-residence, University North Carolina, Greensboro, 1967; art instructor, School Visual Arts, 1967-; art instructor, Dartmouth College, winter 1969.

Zox was awarded a fellowship by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1967; a grant by the National Council for the Arts, 1969; and a grant from the Adolph Gottlieb Foundation, 1985. He exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art Annual and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

Zox's one-person exhibitions include:
1994 - C.S. Shulte Gallery, Millburn, New Jersey
1993 - The Marsh Gallery, University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia
1992 - Robert Stein Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri
1991 - Gallery One, Toronto, Canada
1991 - Percival Gallery, Des Moines, Iowa
1990-91 - Images Gallery, Toledo, Ohio
1990 - Rubiner Gallery, West Bloomfield, Michigan
1989 - Percival Gallery, Des Moines, Iowa
1987 - Percival Gallery, Des Moines, Iowa
1986 - Images Gallery, Toledo, Ohio
1985 - Rubiner Gallery, West Bloomfield, Michigan
1982 - Salander-O'Reilly Gallery, New York, New York
1981 - Hokin Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida
1981 - Meredith Long & Co., Houston, Texas
1981 - Hokin Gallery, Bay Harbor Islands, Florida
1979 - Allen Rubiner Gallery, Royal Oak, Michigan
1978 - Medici-Berenson Gallery, Bay Harbor Islands, Florida
1975-76 - Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, New York
1975 - Daniel Templeton Gallery, Paris, France
1974 - Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa
1974 - Janie C. Lee Gallery, Dallas, Texas
1973 - Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York
1973 - Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, New York
1971 - Akron Art Institute, Akron, Ohio
1970 - Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
1969 - American Gallery, New York, New York
1968-71 - Komblee Gallery, New York, New York
1968 - Galerie Ricke, Cologne, Germany
1968 - Colgate University, Hamilton, New York
1967-69 - J.L. Hudson Gallery, Detroit, Michigan
1964-66 - Komblee Gallery, New York, New York
1963-66 - American Gallery, New York, New York

Les Krantz, "American Artists, Illustrated Survey of Leading Contemporary Artists"

Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

Biography from
American abstract painter born at Des Moines, Iowa on May 31, 1937, Larry Zox studied at the University of Oklahoma, Drake University, and then the Des Moines Art Center under the mentorship of George Grosz, a figurative artist who nevertheless encouraged the young abstract painter.

Zox moved to New York in 1958 and became part of the downtown art scene.  His earliest works, completed in 1959-62, were painted collages consisting of painted pieces of paper stapled onto joined sheets of plywood.  Afterwards, he made pictures similar in appearance to the collages, but entirely painted and with straight as well as ragged edges.  Zox began his 'Rotation' series in 1963 to use a standardised geometrical compositional schema as the basis for a series of paintings each different in colour.  Some of the compositions, suggesting overlapping, bending etc., were evolved with the aid of plywood and perspex reliefs.  By the mid-60s, his large geometric paintings were appearing at prestigious galleries.

On 20th Street, Zox maintained a studio that became a gathering place for artists, jazz musicians, bikers, and boxers.  A large man, Zox occasionally sparred with visiting fighters.  Later, he had a studio in East Hampton, where he liked to fish and was even known to go fish spotting by helicopter.

By 2005, when he had his first New York solo show in more than two decades, his style had mellowed from the hard-edged geometry of the 1960s and 70s.  His lines had become more fluid and his surfaces more painterly, but his concern with color and shape remained unabated.

Zox died of cancer on December 16, 2006.


Oklahoma University Drake University Des Moines Art


Akron Art Institute, Akron, Ohio
American Republic Insurance Corporation, Des Moines, lowa
Art Institute, Chicago, Illinois
Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, Illinois
Columbia Broadcasting System, NYC
Cornell University, Ithica, New York
Dallas Museum of Fine Art, Dallas, Texas
Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, lowa
Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
Hopkins Art Center,
Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
J.L. Hudson Company, Detroit, Michigan
Indianapolis Art Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
National Bank of Des Moines, Des Moines, lowa
Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio
Palm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs, California
Philip Johnson Collection Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NYC
South Mall Project, Albany, New York Tate Museum, London, England
Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC


1985 - Adolph Gottlieb Foundation Grant
1969 - National Council of the Arts
1967 - Guggenheim Fellowship

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About  Larry Zox

Born:  1937 - Des Moines, Iowa
Died:   2006
Known for:  geometric, other non objective painting