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Larry Poons

Salander-O'Reilly Galleries

Once among the stars of “postpainterly abstraction,” Larry Poons has been going his own unpredictable way, pictorially speaking, for some time now. Not that he cultivates the signifiers of solitary genius; his new paintings suggest a studio, like the one in Courbet’s “real allegory,” so packed with the figures of his imagination that he can barely stop to notice his isolation. Which is fine for him, but it does make it rather difficult for us to follow along. Perhaps that’s why his last show here, in 1995—extraordinary paintings that in retrospect seem like a culmination of Poons’ last twenty-five years of work—came and went virtually unnoticed. That’s a shame, and makes it harder to appreciate just what leap Poons has made with this new work, “The Texas Canyon Pictures,” 1996, four canvases and thirty-six works on paper.

The new paintings retain the generous scale and impressive physicality

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