Going to be teaching a workshop in Carmel this weekend at Carmel Visual Arts. Kicking of the event with a demo on Thursday night 6.30pm. Reserve your tickets here - https://www.carmelvisualarts.com/demo/
Yesterday I took my second visit to this exhibition in San Jose, I'll go again before it's finished its run. Since the first time I was introduced to his work I have been an immense fan, indeed for me he is truly one of my painting heroes. Yesterday was also an opportunity to meet him briefly and hear him give a one hour lecture on his work.
Staprans has reached the impressive age of 91, and despite his age continues to produce stunning work. The lecture he gave was obviously beautifully written with some insightful thoughts; but sadly it didn't come across well. He wasn't well mic-ed, so audio was quiet, plus he really ran out of time for the length of speech he had prepared, so it really suffered. I think the core ideas within his speech were that he has tried to avoid certain art pitfalls in his career. Not wanting to do illustrative works, or paintings that tell a story. Feeling that a story distracts from the appreciation of the art itself. He also attempts to avoid too much patterning or beauty, feeling this to be an illusive trap; or perhaps a 'cheap' trick. Within his talk he also briefly covered family and at greater length a love of poetry. I would have liked to have heard the fuller speech, and maybe even questioned some of his comments, but there wasn't time or the opportunity.
On the face of it, I may not have agreed with all his views raised, but there's no denying the power and sublime nature of his work, and to still be engaging at such a senior age, is truly beyond imaging and impressive.
Here are a few photos of the show.
This doesn't show it, but the lecture theater was very full
(photo taken before talk)
Signing catalogues after the talk
One of 4 rooms
It's a tough call choosing which paintings to photograph, (they're so many great pieces). I intentionally took photos of-center, or poorly framed. They're just a guide, I'm sure you can find better images online and he has a couple of really nice books too. (Also, my apologies, I'm sorry I'm not going to the trouble of labeling each work).
Staprans to my mind is a master at breaking traditional rules of composition, his wide empty spaces are luminous in color. Many built up over multiple layers of glazed color. He often takes representation to the edge of form or abstraction, but elements are still deftly handled and clearly defined.
Below are some little details, of paintings. They show his wonderful color, edge, and line work.