Raimonds Staprans may never step out of the shadow of Thiebaud, but does he belong there?
Probably not, on the evidence of the choppy 50-year survey of his work at the Hackett-Freedman Gallery.
A painting such as Sunshine Chair can account for the association of Staprans' work and Thiebaud's, along with the fact that both live in No. California.
Like many of Thiebaud's still lifes, "Sunshine Chair" evokes a light so intense that it sizzles around the contours of things, making their edges appear to quaver. But where Thiebaud's manner produces caricatures of perception, Staprans interrogates forms for their power to stage a mood of calm corroded by anxiety.
Staprans claims not to rely on observation, unlike Thiebaud, but to develop even his most apparently referential paintings by improvisation. Bear down on a picture such as Sunshine Chair, and you believe him.... (http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Anxiety-invades-calm-of-Staprans-still-lifes-2492034.php#photo-2655051)
chairoil on canvas