International Figurative Biennale Comes to Davis

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The John Natsoulas Center for the Arts presents the International Figurative Biennalle, August 31st through September 24th, 2016. The exhibition shows how the figure in contemporary painting is handled, spanning from the Middle East to Asia to Europe to the United States.

For the public at large, the opportunity to experience avant-garde, worldwide trends in art outside international arenas such as the Venice Biennale is a rare occurrence.

The great writer, Edward Lucie-Smith, has contributed an essay and has chosen several contemporary, cutting-edge artists dealing with issues of concern today. The contemporary artist from Cypress, Christine Chrisofi, deals with her culture and is addressing the issues of being a modern woman in a society that doesn't want to change. There are more classical artists, such as Italian artist Ilarea Rosselli Del Turco, who has incorporated the figure and still life in a loose and traditional way of painting. Ilarea, as well as California artists Frank Damiano and John Tarahteeff, give homage to important classical artists. This exhibition displays both neoclassical and surreal works -- such as "Lullaby" by Avery Palmer. "Lullaby" depicts a windblown nude female figure playing a piano in a field with no vegetation. Instead of plants, bald men's heads slumber on pillows, sprouting out of the ground. Libyan artist Najla Shawkat Fitouri's painting shows a traditional Syrian wedding that gives a feeling of abstraction and collage in spite of being a painting. Najla successfully creates a relationship between her past and present culture. In the same vein of paying respect to classical painters, Spanish artist Jose Luis Cena Ruiz depicts a young man with a backpack listening to an audio recording, while California artist, Kim Frohsin's "L. D. Blue," is a tribute to Picasso's "blue period."

These figurative painters give an incredible walkthrough of the past, present and cutting edge in over three floors and 100 figurative paintings from around the globe, this is a rare opportunity you don't want to miss!

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John Natsoulas
California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art
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