Sedona, AZ: An artist reception opens Lanning Gallery’s November “1st Friday” exhibition “Randall LaGro: Theatre of Dreams” on the November 2, from 5-8 pm; featured artist Randall LaGro gives an Artist Talk with Q&A at 6 pm. LaGro is a fascinating artist who also teaches at times which ensures that his talks are always extra engaging. Catching the artist on one of his trips to Arizona is a special opportunity for gallery visitors and all are welcome.
<< “Strength and Grace” by Randall LaGro, 60”h x 47”w, oil and mixed media on panel.
Lagro will unveil his latest oil paintings, pieces that, as always, evoke with a master’s hand parts of the conscious and subconscious world. LaGro never knows what he is going to paint before he paints it – he observes as much as he allows the ultimate images to form; artistic decisions are intuited, never mandated, as he proceeds with each new painting.
This is how LaGro describes his process: “Beginning completely abstract, I work fast and immediate—only considering balance, harmony, and color with an order above chaos. Into this volcanic under-painting, images tend to appear referencing the material world.
“This juxtaposition between abstract and reality can be read as multiple metaphors. But, what I am conveying is the fact that everything is in constant movement. Rather than perfectly caressed brush strokes making an image, I celebrate the endearing awkwardness of being human, along with the elegance. The paint is thrown, scratched, and slashed. Sand or mica is often thrown in, as well as dry pigments and gold leaf. Art is more about evidences, rather than conclusions.”
It can be a challenge for an artist to create during what many perceive as the volatile times in which we live. For LaGro, while these times do weigh on his mind, it is his choice not to be reactionary to political or social issues, but to turn to his intuitive painting with an empathetic appeal to our humanity. “I find that we possess dichotomous natures,” he observes: “glorious and volatile, earthly and spiritual capacities. Thus, the surfaces I paint are layered like a tapestry, reflective of our lives.”
LaGro’s paintings are therefore impressions excavated from his materials and, as he puts it, “the dance and battle pushed to and fro in the experience of painting.” LaGro listens and remains open to impulse and guidance yet leaves room for mystery in the movement of his paint. His images are often transparent or are morphing into something else, as well as evolving or growing. “I trust there is a balance keeping each piece from flying off into oblivion,” LaGro states, “just as we anchor ourselves in the cosmos and chaos. It is about living in a delicate equilibrium, in a precarious yet beautiful balance, and ever in a state of becoming.”
Another showcase for LaGro’s insight and craftsmanship are the monotypes he produces – images painted onto a plate of glass and transferred with great skill onto a single sheet of paper. Remarkably detailed, these are, by necessity, produced while working very fast and come completely from the artist’s subconscious.
Lagro’s singular works are in collections of museums including The Harwood Museum, University of New Mexico, Taos; The Cincinnati Museum of Art, Cincinnati, OH; The State Capital Collection, Santa Fe, NM; and, The State of Ohio, Toledo, OH, as well as the numerous private collections of his growing list of dedicated collectors. The new works he unveils at Lanning Gallery will be in a range of sizes.
Article courtesy of Liz Boykin.