Northern California’s Last Generation of Figurative Artists

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Accomplished artists, Glenn Takai and James Chaffee come together at the John Natsoulas Gallery for an unforgettable exhibition of figurative works. This enticing exhibition opens on November 5th and runs through December 6th, with an opening reception on Friday, November 14th at 7pm.

Glenn Takai and James Chaffee are two artists who are integral to the history of Figurative Art in Northern California. Takai is one of the foremost figurative and narrative Funk artists following the tradition of Robert Arneson and David Gilhooly. James Chaffee represents the painter's painter in being a third generation Bay Area figurative artist.

The paintings of James Chaffee manage to straddle the boundary of abstraction and representation to produce a captivating collection of paintings. As a figurative painter, Chaffee fills his compositions with abstracted images and backgrounds containing loosely articulated figures. His control over the properties of paint is made evident in each of his paintings. Before Chaffee decided to dedicate his full attention to painting in 2003 he worked as an illustrator for the Sacramento Bee. As an illustrator and painter, he has had work featured in national magazines, annual reports, and children’s books.

Each of Glenn Takai’s sculptures represents a story, a narrative that serves as a window into his past that can only be translated as a work of complete sincerity. His works tell a story that focus on a specific figure and its interactions with various abstracted landscapes, animals, figures and faces. Takai’s most recent work is an exploration of the concepts of life and death, family, and his Japanese culture through autobiographical sculptures. Takai’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Oakland Museum, Crocker Art Museum, American Museum of Ceramic Art in California, Arizona State University Art Museum Ceramics Research Center, and the Fuller Craft Museum in addition to many private collections.

Glenn Takai is an important descendant of the Funk Art Movement having previously showed with Robert Arneson, Jim Nutt, Roy De Forest, David Gilhooly, and Maija Peeples-Bright at the Candy Store Gallery in the late 1960’s through the 1970s. Influenced by Arneson and having studied with Gilhooly, Takai is a pioneer in making larger than life size figurative sculptures and totems and carries on the tradition of being a great colorist. Unlike Gilhooly, many of Takai’s sculptures are statement orientated, similar to Arneson’s, with culture, politics, and humor.

Coincidentally, James Chaffee did political illustrations in many Sacramento publications throughout the last 30 years. Chaffee, much like Takai, deals with the abstraction of the figure and is considered one of the best colorists in the region. The John Natsoulas Gallery is excited and proud to have the work of these influential artists on display.

Exhibition Dates: November 5th – December 6th
Opening Reception: November 14th 7pm-9pm
Media Contact: Nancy Resler
Phone: (530) 756-3938
Email: art(at)natsoulas(dot)com
Website: http://www.natsoulas.com
John Natsoulas Gallery
Location: 521 First Street, Davis CA 95616
Gallery Hours: Wed-Thu 11am-5pm, Fri 11am-10pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-5pm

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John Natsoulas
@NatsoulasArt
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