• Monterey Artist David Ligare Featured in Crocker Art Museum Exhibit

    This summer, the Crocker Art Museum presents a major retrospective exhibition, featuring nearly 80 works by Monterey-based contemporary artist David Ligare. The exhibition, David Ligare: California Classicist, will be on view June 7 through September 20, 2015.

    A self-proclaimed Classicist, Ligare (born 1945) creates perfectly ordered still life, landscape, architectural, and figurative paintings that occupy their own poetic world. Although often grouped with California’s Photorealists, the very unreality of Ligare’s paintings and his underlying interest in antiquity belie such a label, and the perfection of his unblemished subjects and hyper-purity of his paint application seem more unearthly than real. In achieving these qualities, Ligare looks to the ancients for guidance and references the formal relationships found in Classical sculpture and architecture. And yet his paintings are firmly based in the specifics of California—and the Monterey region in particular — allowing Ligare to create art that is richly layered, broadly universal, and yet specifically of our time and place.

    In addition to his Classical themes and compositions, it is light that most brings unity to Ligare’s world. Having grown up in Southern California, he developed a vision of light shaped by his nearly constant proximity to the Pacific Ocean. After attending the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, he moved north, living for a time in Big Sur and Santa Barbara. He then settled permanently in Monterey County, where he began to fully embrace Classicism.

    Since the late 1970s, Ligare has used his considerable technical skills and historical knowledge to create what he calls, “the literate picture.” Defying contemporary conventions, he seeks out ancient ideas that inform our modern world and shared humanity. In so doing, concepts are as important to the artist as paint. “Making paintings is a passion for me,” he explains, “but it is a passion of ideas rather than just pigment. I believe deeply that art can make a difference in the way we view the world, and in the way we act in it.”

    The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue of the same title, co-authored by the Crocker Art Museum’s Associate Director and Chief Curator Scott A. Shields, Ph.D. The catalogue showcases Ligare’s admiration for the ancients and his love of California through revelatory essays, a chronology, and more than 200 reproductions and photographs. Ligare and Shields will be featured speakers at a public symposium at the Crocker Art Museum on Saturday, July 18.

    About the Crocker Art Museum: The Crocker Art Museum was the first art museum in the Western U.S. and is one of the leading art museums in California today. Established in 1885, the Museum features one of the country’s finest collections of Californian art, exceptional holdings of master drawings, a comprehensive collection of international ceramics, as well as European, Asian, African, and Oceanic art. The Crocker is located at 216 O Street in downtown Sacramento. Museum hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday – Sunday; 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Thursdays. Every third Sunday of the month is “Pay What You Wish Sunday” sponsored by Western Health Advantage. For more information, call (916) 808-7000 or visit crockerartmuseum.org.


    posted to Cedar Street Times on May 27, 2015

    Topics: Front PG News


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