• David Ligare, Penelope. 1980. Oil on canvas, 40 x 48 inches. Crocker Art Museum, promised gift of the Artist and Gary Smith.
    David Ligare
    California Classicist
    June 07, 2015 — September 20, 2015

Art that is richly layered, broadly universal, and yet specifically of our time and place.

A self-proclaimed Classicist, David Ligare (born 1945) creates perfectly ordered still life, landscape, architectural, and figurative paintings that occupy their own poetic world. The complete range of his subject matter is represented here in this retrospective exhibition of nearly 80 works. Although often grouped with California's Photorealists, the very unreality of Ligare's paintings and his underlying interest in antiquity belie such a label, and the perfection of his unblemished subjects and hyper-purity of his paint application seem more unearthly than real. In achieving these qualities, Ligare looks to the ancients for guidance and references the formal relationships found in Classical sculpture and architecture. And yet, his paintings are firmly based in the specifics of California—and the Monterey region in particular, allowing Ligare to create art that is richly layered, broadly universal, and yet specifically of our time and place.


  • Barbara and William Hyland, Monterey, California
  • Lorna Meyer Calas and Dennis Calas
  • The Estate of Lucien Caste, Cicely Caste, and Emmett O'Boyle
  • Willard and Elizabeth Clark
  • Martha Drexler Lynn, Ph.D. and Robert Danziger
  • Iris and Stephen Dart
  • Martha Koplin in memory of Allen Koplin
  • Stephen and Maribelle Leavitt
  • Stephen and Mary Mizroch
  • Kay and Jean Rigg
  • Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery
  • Clay Tedeschi
  • Winfield Family

Exhibition made possible in part by a grant from SMAC.

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