For more than fifty years, David Ligare’s captivating paintings have incorporated evocative imagery inspired by Classical art and culture. They echo the graceful elegance of Classical ideals of balance, restraint and proportion and allude to Greek and Roman myth, which Ligare views as timelessly relevant even to contemporary life. In his enthralling works, he transforms his subjects – statuesque horses, human figures, colossal rocks and more – into totemic embodiments of Classical ideals: harmony and unity from oppositional forces, the virtue of balance, and philosophic modes of thought from the times of antiquity.
In his art, Ligare invokes the concept of “recurrent Classicism,” which refers to artists and art movements since the Renaissance that have turned to Hellenistic and Roman culture in order to suggest ideas of enduring meaning and relevance to contemporary life. Though often cloaked within imagery whose independent beauty makes subtle any precise connection to a particular symbolic reference, Ligare’s still-lifes and figures always contain abundant information to entice pause, inspire wonder and contemplation, and offer a sense that there is something spiritual underlying in the picture. As Ligare writes in his artist statement for this exhibition, “Foundational myths and philosophy from ancient Greece, most particularly, and additionally Ancient Rome, have elements that enduringly underpin and inform our contemporary life.” These elements, to Ligare, form the basis for the way our civilization views, inhabits, and moves within the world.