NEW YORK, NY.- Stephen Haller Gallery
presents LARRY ZOX: THE EARLY WORK an exhibition of the late artists outstanding work from the beginning of his career in the 1960s. The exhibition includes historic examples such as Rotation V 1964 an exceedingly rare plexiglas relief of the kind championed by Henry Geldzahler, known at that time as "the most powerful and controversial art curator alive."
The exhibition also includes the last three examples of prized early collage works from the late artists personal collection. These remarkable works were created when the artist was in his early twenties. Emphasizing process, the exhibition allows the viewer to see the influence of Zoxs early experimentation in both collage and three-dimension on his later work.
This early work reveals the innovation and vision that brought Zox art world fame when his solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum opened in 1973. In the catalogue to that exhibition curator James Monte wrote that the plexiglas reliefs (referred to, but never exhibited) were for Zox three dimensional maquettes for the exacting two-dimensional formats of the Rotation Series. He also wrote that Zoxs visual memory of his own earlier collages continued to influence his use of both color and shape in many of the Rotation pictures. It is fascinating to see this work presented side-by-side.
One of the key paintings in the exhibition is Untitled/Rotation Series 1964, a painting similar to Tate Moderns stunning example Orange Time painted in the same year. Zox paintings of this period are represented in nearly every major museum in the country. Decorah, another major Zox painting of the 60s, was recently exhibited at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC where it is part of the permanent collection. The Hirshhorn Museum in DC holds 14 Zoxs - the largest number of his masterworks in a museum collection.
Art Now: New York (1969) referred to these paintings as emphasizing color as an assertive force. And Larry Zox was an assertive force in his own right. An important part of the vibrant and intense art scene that dominated New York in that era. His studio welcomed bikers, boxers, and jazz musicians. Zox was part of the crowd at famed artists hangout Maxs Kansas City, where a Larry Zox painting hung over the bar. This exhibition celebrates his art of that time.