Raimonds Staprans

Staprans is an abstract painter whose compositions are minimalist in both concept and execution.  Though grouped with the Bay Area Figurative painters, Staprans’ style is more akin to the geometric abstractions of de Staël and Piet Mondrian. Nonetheless, the tension between representation and abstraction is the key to understanding Staprans’ work.  This tension arises from Staprans’ need to impose order on a chaotic world, while acknowledging the disorder of personal experience. His oeuvre is comprised predominantly of landscapes and still lives.  The figure almost never appears in his paintings; rather, narrative and temporal reality are left to the page.

Raimonds Staprans immigrated with his family to America in 1947 after fleeing Latvia during the Soviet invasion. He studied art at the University of Washington under Alexander Archipenko and Mark Tobey and then obtained his master’s degree at UC Berkeley where he studied with Hans Hofmann. His work is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the San Jose Museum of Art, to name a few. Staprans was the subject of a career retrospective that opened at the Pasadena Museum of Contemporary Art in March 2006 and traveled to the State Museum in Riga, Latvia. He is also an accomplished playwright, whose writing explores the tension between fact and fiction, totalitarian ‘reality’ and human truth, set against his Latvian homeland’s twentieth century history. In 2003, Staprans was awarded Latvia’s highest civilian honor, the Three Star Medal, the equivalent of the United States’ Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Selected Exhibitions
1993        Galerie Redmann, Berlin
1994        Marburg Art Center, Germany
Maxwell Galleries, San Francisco
1996        Maxwell Galleries, San Francisco
Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena
1997        Kunstmesse, Cologne
Galerie Redmann, Berlin
Mendenhall Galery, Pasadena
1998        Maxwell Galleries, San Francisco
1999        Mendenhall Gallery, Beverly Hills
2001        Hackett-Freedman Gallery, San Francisco
2003-04 Hacket-Freedman Gallery, San Francisco
2006       State Museum of Art, Riga, Latvia
Hackett-Freedman Gallery, San Francisco
Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena
2008       Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Los Angeles
2009       Hacket Mill Gallery, San Francisco
2011        Hacket Mill Gallery, San Francisco
2013       Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Los Angeles
2016       Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga, Latvia
2017       Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento
2018       San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose