The exciting autumn art season continues at Lanning with the opening of a unique exhibition that puts the spotlight on the intricate and ethereal monotypes of intuitive artist Randall LaGro. On 1st Friday in Sedona, November 2nd, an opening reception from 5-8 p.m. offers collectors and visitors the opportunity to meet Randall LaGro and enjoy an Artist Talk at 5:45 that evening.
The artist, whose surreal, intuitive mixed media paintings have graced the gallery’s walls for a dozen years, is also a master printmaker. It is his exquisite monotypes that have captured the attention of several museums that have added these technically masterful works to their collections. “Randall LaGro: Light Out of Darkness” provides gallery visitors the opportunity to explore not only the mysterious images themselves but the challenging technique that produces them.
“I begin by laying a thin layer of ink on [a plate of] Plexiglas with a rubber roller,” LaGro explains. “I work intuitively, drawing from the well of the subconscious, wiping ink away which when printed will be the white of the paper. Developing my own tools when necessary, I use brushes, Q-tips, rags and my fingers, making marks, then pulling away seeing shapes appear and finishing an image … pulling lights out of darkness, inviting viewers to open the door to their wanderings, imaginations and dreams.”
Although a monotype is technically called a print because of the transfer process, it is unique among print mediums in that it is a one-of-a-kind art piece. With his brown-toned inks, LaGro’s desire is to create monotypes that reference etchings, lithographs and the history of Albumen prints in photography; his works with black inks not only hint at photographic tones but nod to the history of printmaking as well, to masters such as Rembrandt, Goya and Kathi Kollwitz. As LaGro puts it, “I [am] interested in the psychological gravity that I feel comes with monochromatic color.” As with the most gifted artists, LaGro’s work continues to evolve: He has begun working collaged elements into his monotypes to, as he puts it, introduce “a collision of worlds ... the solid world juxtaposed against the imagined and spiritual world.” Painted accents with gold and other metallic powders offer an added sense of alchemy and further accentuate the unique monotype impression.
This exhibition promises to impress and challenge, to transfix and engage. As Randall LaGro describes his monotypes: “Drawn from the river of the subconscious, they are hints of order in the chaos … “
“Randall LaGro: Light Out of Darkness” runs through November 18th.