Coos Art Museum presents TRANSPORTED, a solo show of mixed media paintings, combining raw pigments, oil and wax by Oregon-based artist Robert Canaga. The opening reception is Friday April 18 from 5 to 7pm and coincides with the opening of Expressions West 2014 the Museum’s Western states painting competition for which Canaga served as juror.
In TRANSPORTED, painter Robert Canaga explores images of the vessel as both object and symbol. The thematic forms bring to mind containers or sailing vessels from antiquity, familiar contours repeated throughout history. Boldly colored and textured in Canaga’s signature style, the series evokes a sense of solidity and purpose with its simple, satisfying shapes.
“These paintings are based on the idea of transport from one place to another,” says Canaga, whose work is influenced by the artist’s two near-death experiences. TRANSPORTED’s metaphorical reference to the body-as-vessel, carrying the soul, cannot be overlooked. The paintings do not convey fragility; quite the opposite, they vibrate with celebration of their own place in the universe. “I’m more whole at 64 than I was at 24, more held together, in a sense,” continues Canaga. “I’ve escaped amazing circumstances, but remained solid.”
Even the smaller paintings seem larger than their dimensions. Their energy radiates outward with the artist’s confident orchestration of color and composition. Canaga describes himself as a color purist. He elaborates, “I carry precise colors in my mind’s eye. The windows of my studio do not reveal the surrounding landscape, because I deliberately decided not to be influenced by the external Pacific Northwest palette. I’m fascinated by color frequencies and how those frequencies relate to each other.”
CoosArt Museum director, Steven Brooks, comments, ”We are very pleased to have one of the areas most active and innovative artistic leaders exhibiting at the Museum. We are also pleased that Robert Canaga has agreed to jury Expressions West 2014 a painting competition that exposes the OregonCoast to the art of thirteen western states.”
About the Artist:
Robert Canaga was born in Oregon and makes his home in Eugene. He is known as one of the state’s most experimental printmakers, and currently focuses on abstract painting in oil, raw pigments and wax. His involvement in the arts community spans decades. He is curator at The Gallery at the Watershed in Eugene, past President of the Board for Oregon Mozart Players and former curator at Opus 6IX Gallery. His work is collected nationally. Canaga is also owner of Robert Canaga Galleries in Portland and Eugene. More information about the artist can be found by visiting his website at http://opus6ixgallery.blogspot.com/
About Coos Art Museum:
CoosArt Museum has been a cultural focal point of Oregon’s scenic Southern Coast since 1966. It occupies the historic 1936 Art Deco US Federal Building in downtown CoosBay. The Museum offers a wide range of arts activities including exhibitions, art classes and lectures. Hours are 10:00am to 4:00pm, Tuesday through Friday and 1:00 to 4:00 pm on Saturday. Museum admission: $5 general, $2 students, veterans and seniors, free to Museum members.
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