Born in Des Moines on May 31, 1937, Larry Zox was a painter whose exuberant geometric abstractions and made a strong contribution to the Color Field movement of the 1960s and '70s. Larry studied art with George Grosz among other teachers.
The American Lyrical Abstraction painter movement evolved out of the Color Field paintings of Hans Hofmann, Morris Louis, and Kenneth Noland, also included the artists Larry Poons, Pat Lipsky, and John Hoyland, among others. Zox’s works from the early 1960s utilized painted pieces of paper collaged onto pieces of plywood making dynamic geometric shapes. From this body of work, Zox developed the foundation for his future paintings by essentially replicating the collaged quality of his earlier work using painted boundaries to create the effect of overlapping space in a hard edge style.
In New York of the '60s and '70s, he found a studio on 20th Street where artists, jazz musicians, bikers and boxers were welcome. ln 1973 the Whitney Museum of American Art recognized his importance in the field by organizing a solo show of his work. The next year he was represented in the inaugural exhibition of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, which owns 14 of his works. (The museum's founder, collector Joseph Hirshhorn, was a major Larry Zox collector.) In period of the ‘70s and ‘80s, Zox’s art was equated with that of Frank Stella and Kenneth Noland. Zox exhibited at galleries around the country and taught or served as guest artist at several schools, among them Yale and Syracuse university.
A powerful and muscular man, he kept up his energy by training with boxers. He was also an avid fisherman, working the Long Island Sound and even renting a helicopter to study coastal waters. Zox died on Saturday. He was 69 and lived in Colchester; Conn. The cause was cancer said his daughter, Melinda. In Mr. Zox's signature works of the mid- to late 1960s, flatly painted diamonds, triangles and other hard-edged shapes were arranged into brilliant symmetrical and asymmetrical compositions of dynamic and juxtaposed colors.