David Anfam Reviews Larry Poons: New Work

Excerpted From: Review of Exhibitions in New York, London & Madrid
Modern and Contemporary Exhibitions
New York, London and Madrid

by DAVID ANFAM

In complete antithesis to any mechanistic aura, Larry Poons’s fourteen new abstract canvases at Danese and Loretta Howard Gallery, New York (closed 2nd March) maintained a studied wildness as volatile and hedonistically excessive as his early compositions of gridded dots in the 1960s were systematic and stringent. [2] Now in his eighth decade, Poons remains at the height of his powers, his energetic brushwork charged with dancing rhythms that pulse somewhere between those of Soutine or de Kooning and Cecily Brown, congealed by memories of the late Monet’s encrusted textures. In fact, the tension at the heart of Poons’s methods concerns the stubborn materiality of pigment versus the inherent opticality of colour. Since neither force quite gains the upper hand, such medleys as The venetian and The flying blue cat (cat. nos. 11, 14) hover before the viewer paradoxically unresolved yet resolute: Proteus in paint.