Almine Rech Brussels is pleased to present Recent Paintings, Larry Poons’ second solo exhibition with the gallery, on view from September 7 to November 4, 2023 at Almine Rech Brussels.
Paintings don’t move, but somehow that doesn’t feel true when you’re viewing a work by Larry Poons. Just as Poons has been in continual and restless aesthetic motion throughout his storied career, so do his canvases seem to be on their way somewhere as you look, dancing past your gaze. They also feel to have arrived from somewhere, or from two somewheres which Poons alone has synthesised as if realising their destiny: the cosmic expansiveness of all-over modernist abstraction as gestated in midcentury America, and the floral headiness and bursting light of French Impressionism. For all that, though, his engulfing recent paintings locate themselves in an unfolding present. Their morphing pictorial events can’t be memorised but only journeyed through: heated colour schemes modulate horizontally, vertically, diagonally, while quicksilver brushstrokes coalesce into cloudlike forms that are substantial but not fixed, imposing yet light. Indeed, these paintings are full of tantalising and precarious not-quites: not quite nonrepresentational, definable neither by summer’s-day exuberance nor stormy ferocity. Amid this, Poons reminds us of the counterintuitive places that risk might be found in artmaking: in resistance to the assimilable and mnemonic image, in unabashed beauty, in stylistic suspension, and in reaching into multiple pasts to build a new, if momentary, pictorial present.