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Larry Poons, Jessica’s Hartford, 1965, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 120".

Larry Poons

Loretta Howard Gallery

Larry Poons, Jessica’s Hartford, 1965, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 120".

The strangest item in this small exhibition of early work by Larry Poons was a brief, grainy audio recording of a short-lived rock ’n’ roll group called the Druds. Formed by Andy Warhol in 1963, the Druds released no records and never once performed live, yet they are remembered today for a lineup that is almost comically auspicious: Walter De Maria on drums, La Monte Young on saxophone, Poons on guitar, and Jasper Johns, Patty Oldenburg, Lucas Samaras, and Warhol himself singing. A star-studded cast, indeed, but even illustriousness can fall flat. The track, “No More Apologies,” is a case study in toe-curling dissonance, with Oldenburg’s unhinged caterwauling clashing unbearably with Johns’s basso-profundo backing vocals and Poons’s rough, clanging guitar. It’s bad. But still, it sure sounds like they were having fun.

And that quality of fun provides an illuminating if not

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