Starting with his first solo exhibition of “dot paintings” at Richard Bellamy’s Green Gallery in 1963, Larry Poons skyrocketed into art world stardom. In his mid 20s he was featured in the seminal exhibition, “NY Painting and Sculpture” curated by Henry Geldzahler at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He began exhibiting at the legendary Leo Castelli gallery in 1965 alongside John Chamberlain, Donald Judd and Frank Stella, among others. Poons’s ellipse paintings from this period marked a major development in post painterly abstraction.
This exhibition presents a selection of never before exhibited canvases from the late 1950s alongside the artist’s signature ellipse paintings of the 1960s. The works on display are united by a common interest in gridded systems of color and geometry. Working drawings on graph paper detail the artist’s methodical process. Vintage photographs, video and audio recordings show the artist as a raw, blazing-eyed youth. In this context, we also see the artist in terms of his lifelong love affair with music. In fact, from 1955 -1957 the artist studied theory and composition at the New England Conservatory of Music. An audio recording documents the artist playing the guitar in Andy Warhol’s short-lived noise rock band The Druds.