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William A. Karges Fine Art Presents:

Raimonds Staprans

(b. 1926)


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Raimonds Staprans - Biography


Northern California-based polymath, Raimonds Staprans (b. 1926), immigrated to the United States from his native Latvia in 1947, fleeing civil unrest that followed in the wake of World War II and the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe. Upon his arrival in the states, Staprans began his formal art education at the University of Washington, studying under such luminaries as the Northwest School's Mark Tobey (1890-1976) and Ukrainian Cubist Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964), before relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area to attain a graduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley.


Raimonds Staprans - Boats


Oil on canvas, 36 x 40 inches




He is well-known today for his abstract expressionist canvases, primarily still lifes and landscapes, reminiscent of Bay Area Figurative artists such as Richard Dibenkorn (1922-1993) and Wayne Thiebaud (b.1920). Staprans' work is immediately identifiable for its combination of a vibrant, almost Fauvist color palette with bold reductions of form, resulting in hard line compositions that are at once ephemeral and concrete. In lieu of definite narrative signposts, the artist relies on a symbolic vocabulary of everyday objects, stylized in order to create tension between representation and abstraction, which call on the viewer to impose their own final interpretation of the work.

In addition to being a critically acclaimed visual artist, Staprans is an award-winning playwright. His 1989 play, "Four Days in June", which depicts the real life events of the Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940, has garnered multiple awards, including first prize at the Baltic Theater Festival, and is credited as playing an integral role in the Latvian pro-democracy movement following the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.


Raimonds Staprans - Untitled

Still Life, 1960

Oil on canvas, 34 x 28 inches



Staprans work is exhibited and collected by many prominent artistic institutions, both domestically and abroad, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco's de Young Museum, the Portland Art Museum, the Latvian National Museum of Art, and the State Museum of Art in Riga, Latvia -- among many others.

Raimonds Staprans currently lives and works in San Franscisco, California with his wife, Ilona Staprans. They have two daughters, Alda Staprans Mednis and Maretta Staprans.



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