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Randall Lagro

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Recent Paintings for sale...... #1....

Artist Randall LaGro. Among the most renowned painters of contemporary regional art, Randall LaGro presents his latest works on paper for this special exhibition. Born in Ohio, LaGro has made New Mexico his home and workshop for over fifteen years. Having discovered a voice for his intuitive and dynamic vision, LaGro translates his impressions into important and visionary works of art.

The current works on paper signal a return to the artistís passions of printmaking and assemblage. LaGroís exceptional monotypes stand as refined and mysterious examples of the form, pulling imagery from the improvisational gestures of his creative imagination as well as the ledgers of art history.

"Down an ordinary alley off one of the busier streets in Taos is a shabby door in need of paint. Open it, and one enters a room full of fantastical paintings, monotypes, and panels, all awash in the clear northern light falling from a wall of windows. The work seem visions from Gothic fairytale, or half-remembered images from a haunting childhood fever dream. This is the studio of Randall LaGro, an artist and printmaker graced with the unusual talent of creating works that are often equal parts of the conscious and subconscious world. Hanging from every wall, leaning in corners, set on easels, and stacked on tables, LaGros pieces resonate with mystery and beauty. His works are peopled by the common and the extraordinary, the transcendent and the loathsome. As a viewer, one feels the images are disturbingly familiar. It is as if LaGro is able to paint the dreamscapes and nightmares of humanity, and they are all gathered together in this high-ceilinged Cathedral of the Soul.

LaGro works most often with paintings and monotypes, two distinctly different methods that allow him great freedom in attempting his goals. ""I want to speak to the poets, artists, and philosophers, but I dont want to lose the guy on the tractor. Art has always been language to me - thats its power."" The power inherent in the paintings of LaGro is overwhelming. Using predominantly rich and somber tones on large-scale canvasses or wood panels, LaGro introduces viewers to figures of uncommon translucence, unsettling anguish, and uncertain perspective. There is a musician seen through a rain-washed window; the dim androgynous shape in a blurred field leaning toward a bright, clear cluster of flowers; the blind artist working in his dark room, only vaguely aware of the demon lurking behind him. Much of the power of these works is in the ethereal atmosphere surrounding even the most mundane of subjects. LaGro also plays with reflective surfaces, such as glass and water, at times forcing the viewer to re-evaluate what his eyes may be seeing.

LaGros monotypes are arguably his most unique creations. First covering a Plexiglas plate with sepia-toned ink, he has four to six hours to swab, wipe and scratch at the surface, slowly removing ink to reveal shapes and images of each work. He then transfers the creation to paper by running the plate through an etching press. These works, more than LaGros others, are drawn from the subconscious. These are the monochromatic pieces that seem snippets of dreams, featuring the bare backs of women sprouting wings, pools of water thick with snakes, and strange reverse writing obscuring Venetian archways. There is great depth to these monotypes. Images are dynamic, coming into and sinking back out of focus as if momentarily bobbing to the surface. One of these monotypes was entered in the prestigious 16th National Biennial of the Los Angeles Printmaking Society. From a field of fourteen hundred entries, only seventy-five works were chosen for the show. LaGro won an award for excellence in the medium."