Piri Halasz reviews Larry Poons: Choral Fantasy at Loretta Howard Gallery, New York, on view through February 13, 2016.
Halasz writes: "Entering [the gallery] is like walking into the middle of Niagara Falls, or being confronted by the descending lava of a volcano—all as frozen for eternity by a modernist photographer like Brassaï..." Halasz adds: "And what paint! The whole show is a colorist’s dream come true. The 1980s paintings, with their nubbled surfaces, are shades of purest gray, white or cream, while those from the 1970s explore a fuller range of color—clear and light in some cases, deep and mellow in others. This critic’s favorite is “Loose Change” (1977), a tall narrow painting with blackish blue, light blue, mint green,pink, and rust-colored paint splashed and splattered as well as poured. Much empty canvas is left between its paint marks, creating the impression of a wind-blown rainstorm, or trees in the mist – most evocative of nature."
Riley writes: "The great critic and curator Robert Pincus Witten once observed that 'Poons instrumentalizes chance (the very hallmark of Abstract Expressionist painting).' The value of that felicitous expression is particularly suited to [the painting] Book of Minutes, which changes course both gesturally and chromatically innumerable times on the way from edge to edge." Riley notes that "[a]lthough acrylics have been around since the 1940s ... Solomon has a claim to being one of the earliest adapters for his type of expressionist surface. He certainly is one of the technical innovators when it comes to aerosol spraying—viewers will see blooms of fine mist in several of the works in the show. The technique for applying these blooms, which he called 'dropping paint in layers from above,' was part of the legacy of his camouflage work in the military."
Peter Frank reviews the exhibition Ed Moses & Larry Poons: The Language of Paint at William Turner Gallery, Santa Monica, CA, on view through July 19, 2014.
Frank writes: "Poons and Moses do not simply employ paint, they explore paint, manipulating the possibilities and peculiarities of acrylic every which way. Poons’ engagement with paint, initially addressing the strictures of geometric composition, has been famously extravagant for the bulk of his career; Moses’ has not been quite so lavish, but, if anything, has been even more formally expansive and consistently surprising. The fortuitous dialogue between the two is the subject of their new joint survey show ... which juxtaposes roughly a dozen works by both artists going back to the 1970s."
In a 2013 essay, Robert Pincus-Witten wrote of Poon's recent paintings: "The nervous, incremental strokes of Poons's 'landscapes' are born of memory-not observation-other than the vigilant observation of the events directly taking place on the canvas itself and the artist's experience of his own self-generating process of painting."
Malone writes: "There is a depth of understanding and clear evidence of a living interaction with painting’s history in this work — a hard-won quality that can only come from eye and hand working in tandem... They display a robust spontaneity spread across what seems at first like the infamous Greenbergian surface. But, stepping inside each painting’s optimum viewing distance, which I found to be about six to eight feet away, one discovers a spatial depth that gives way to barely implied landscape and figurative elements lurking in the open mesh of color. From a surface built of acrylic strokes on raw canvas never thicker than an inch or so, shapes and forms tease their way through the dense field without separating their tenuous bond to the picture plane."
Kalm notes that this show, and several other summer abstraction paintings (including Xstraction), "gives viewers a chance to reevaluate the many facets of this practice and with 'DNA' see the works of at least three generations of artists side by side. This show includes views of works by Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Franz Kline, Al Held, Louise Nevelson, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Joshua Abelow, Ronald Bladen, Brooke Moyse, Kenneth Noland and others."
Jason Andrew blogs about the exhibition Larry Poons: New Paintings at Loretta Howard Gallery, New York, on view through March 2, 2013.
Andrew writes: "I take a step back from the frame and then focus on the surface. Each painting, every one, radiates a Dionysian surge of color against color, paint against paint. If my observations seem general it’s because Poons wants us to see rather than contextualize. He wants us to feel rather than interpret. In pure painting terms, it’s the essence of these paintings that comes out and bowls you over. They originate from chromatic worlds of music and color, creating along the way a visual and emotional sensation ripe with gesture, raw energy, and improvisation."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.