Almine Rech London is pleased to present our first exhibition with American artist Larry Poons, on view from June 3, 2021.
For over half a century, Larry Poons has been identified as heir to the heroic era of American painting, following in the footsteps of such greats as Pollock, de Kooning, and Rothko.
In 1969, aged 32, Poons featured in the landmark exhibition New York Painting and Sculpture 1940-1970 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Curated by Henry Geldzahler, who devoted the show’s culminating gallery to the artist, this seminal exhibition saw Poons’ work stand out alongside those American greats, the final room glowing with his early “Dots and Lozenge” paintings, as well as several then-recent expansive, colourful abstractions later regarded as iconic works in the Colour Field movement. The youngest artist included in the exhibition, Poons was at the time regarded as the promising, guiding star who could lead the way toward exciting new possibilities for contemporary painting.
Over the course of the five decades since the Met exhibition, Poons has more than fulfilled that promise. His trajectory was, however, not what that most critics and art-world observers were expecting, or perhaps were even equipped to understand. Poons, as it turns out, was a much more radical painter than anyone could have imagined. Indifferent to the demands of critics, curators, and the marketplace, he remained steadfast on his own, inimitable path, constantly evolving and always surprising his audience.
This exhibition at Almine Rech London constitutes a concise Larry Poons survey that picks up where Geldzhaler’s show left off. Works from across the decades feature alongside those created in the past year, and in all Poons demonstrates his virtuosity with seemingly effortless panache. Already an art-historical figure, with the vibrant, energetic, and surprising works he continues to produce, he reenforces his stature as one of the most significant artists of this moment. Fifty years on, and widely regarded as among the foremost colourists of the latter half of the twentieth century, Poons is as relevant today as ever.