Culture

‘The Twenty-First Century’ by Larry Poons at Roberto Polo Gallery, Brussels

Roberto Polo Gallery in Brussels will host a solo exhibition of Larry Poons titled “The Twenty-First Century,” curated by the distinguished British art historian and critic David Anfam. The exhibition, the artist’s first in the gallery, will feature 28 acrylic paintings on canvas created from 2002 to 2017. On its occasion, Roberto Polo Gallery will publish an eponymous 160-page hardback book with 84 illustrations, as well as essays by David Anfam and Martin Herbert, reputed British writer and critic. It will be the first book of its kind on Poons.

Born in Tokyo, Japan, on October 1, 1937, Larry Poons lives and works in New York, as also in Upstate New York. From 1955 to 1957, he studied composition at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music. Barnett Newman’s 1959 exhibition at French & Company deeply impressed Poons. He relinquished music studies to enroll at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Between 1966 and 1970, Poons taught at the Art Students League of New York and has continued to do so since 1997. In the early 1960s, Poons upheld his passion for music as the guitarist with The Druds, a short-lived avant-garde art band. It featured other prominent members of the New York art community — Walter de Maria and LaMonte Young respectively played the drums and saxophone, Patty Mucha was the lead singer while Jasper Johns wrote the lyrics.

At first associated with geometric imagery, in 1966, Poons reacted against the art critic Clement Greenberg’s pictorial theories to return to the essence of painting that was a tactile pigment itself. Thus he brilliantly reconciled the opposing currents of his storied predecessors Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning to establish a new painterly vision in the Western grand manner. Although this bold innovation harmed the artist’s critical reputation at the time, Frank Stella, the second major living artist from the heroic generation of color painters in the 1960s — always championed it.

In the 1960s, three New York galleries represented Poons: Green Gallery, subsequently Leo Castelli Gallery and then Lawrence Rubin Gallery. In 2016, Poons’s work was highly acclaimed by the international art press for his important participation in the exhibition “Painting After Postmodernism” curated by Barbara Rose and organized by Roberto Polo. The exhibition was inaugurated at the landmark Vanderborght building in Brussels and continues to tour.

Larry Poons’ painting “Brown Sound” featured on the front cover of Artforum magazine’s 1968 Summer issue. He has also appeared in several films, including Emile de Antonio’s 1972 “Painters Painting: The New York Art Scene 1940-1970.”

The artist’s work is represented in many institutional collections, including those of The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Tate Modern, Van Abbemuseum, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Yale University Art Gallery, to  name a few.

The exhibition will be on view from January 19 to March 18, 2018, at Roberto Polo Gallery, Rue Lebeau 8-12, 1000 Brussels.

For details, visit http://www.robertopologallery.com

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.


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