Born and raised in Riga, Latvia, Raimonds Staprans has lived in Northern California for more than six decades — nearly his entire career. He has often claimed that in terms of his education, experience, and personality, he is thoroughly Latvian, whereas his paintings are purely Californian. Many of his paintings showcase the landscape and architecture of the Golden State, having an equal basis in reality and the artist’s imagination. Taut contours and bold hues define fields, marinas, isolated trees, and architecture, all devoid of people, while scorching sunlight descends from skies of the deepest blue. His still lifes of fruit, artist materials, and chairs share this pervasive loneliness, quality of light, and rich color — sometimes including a full prismatic spectrum. In all of Staprans’s work, assertive brushwork and traces of revision are ever present, reminding viewers that Staprans’s realities are purely paint on canvas, his subjects formal elements in his process.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.