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 Louis LaBrie  (1950 - )

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: landscape and mural painting

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Biography from a third party submitted on 06/21/2008:
Louis LaBrie (American, b. 1950)

Louis LaBrie creates paintings of beautifully complex and emotional scenes that go beyond realism and into a truly extraordinary place.  You will find some works that stress mood, texture and pattern, and others which focus on abstractions created by light.  For the past fifty years, LaBrie and landscapes have shared an intimate connection.  His latest works showcase LaBrie’s diversity in changing formats and sizes, with pieces ranging from 2 x 3 inches up to 6 x 4 feet without loosing any detail.

Louis LaBrie was born in Martinez, California and began his journey as an artist at the early age of eight, completing his first oil painting of the Yosemite Valley reflected into the Merced River which he rendered from a postcard.  His great uncle Phillip Menard, an accomplished landscape painter, lived with his family on occasion and was an early mentor.  LaBrie attended UC Santa Barbara from 1968-72, and studied with Paul Wonner, Larry Rivers, Irma Cavat, and Gary Brown.  The pure beauty of nature has always been LaBrie’s inspiration, guiding his inherent ability to convey feeling through distinct textures and abstract patterns found in the natural world with its complex effects of light and shadow that project the mood of the subject in which he paints. 

It is indeed rare to find a realist artist that is capable of capturing all the natural elements of the atmosphere and its mood upon a canvas, but LaBrie does so with truth, neither taking nor adding to what is reflected by the true elements of nature’s beauty.  It is extraordinary to be placed before his paintings creating his work with a prospective that allows one to take their own journey.  One can sense the soft wind moving gently across the hills, the warmth of the sunlight upon a cool lake, the reflection of landscape rippling across the water, rich, soothing colors of nature revealing its many moods upon rolling meadows, and water slowly caressing the sand before it again disappears to become one with the ocean. Water has always played an important role in LaBrie’s life, which is why he has mastered its complex and ever changing form.  He paints water challenging each element with the skill and patience it deserves. 

He has worked in many two dimensional mediums including; oils, etchings, lithographs, colored pencil and oil pastels, that range in size from large murals to miniature paintings. LaBrie free-hands each painting using an intricate technique that requires layers upon layers and hundreds of hours of dedication that are put into each work, allowing for the paintings to read as well from up close as from a distance while capturing every detail.  This process is challenging but necessary to achieve a realistically clear image so the viewer becomes one with the painting and may experience that particular moment and place.

Cambridge Art Gallery represents Louis LaBrie exclusively worldwide introducing him to a wider audience of collectors both here in the United States and abroad.

Biographical Chronology:

1950  Louis LaBrie born, Martinez, California

1958  First Oil Painting Instruction

1968-1972  Studied at the University of California at Santa Barbara

1976  National Bicentennial Mural Competition, National Parks Service, Fort Mason, The City Rising, San Francisco, California

1977  Mural for Albany Public Library, City of Albany, California

1978  Illustrations for the Berkeley Jazz Festival Program, University of California, Berkeley, California

1979  Solo Exhibition, The Armand Roi Gallery, Martinez, California

1981  Solo Exhibition, Missoula Museum of the Arts, Missoula, Montana
Illustration for the California State Curriculum Guide Book for Teachers, Alameda County Board of Education

1982  Solo Exhibition, San Francisco State University, San Francisco California
Solo Exhibition, Pamela Auchincloss Gallery, Santa Barbara, California

1984  Solo Exhibition, Wrubel Gallery, The Nature Company, Berkeley, California
California on Paper, Graystone, San Francisco, California
Membership Exhibit, California Society of Printmakers, San Jose, California
Traveling Exhibition, World Print Gallery, Prints, USA

1985  Prints ’85, California Society of Printmakers, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada

1986  Solo Exhibition, Graystone, San Francisco, California
The Atelier in America, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois
Group Exhibition, Japan Print Association/CSP, Tokyo Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan

1987  Solo Exhibition, Oakland Museum Collectors Gallery, Oakland, California
Recent Acquisitions Part II, Achenbach Foundation, San Francisco, California
Drawing as Primary Focus, Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, California

1988  California Prints, Mills College Art Gallery, Oakland, California
Contemporary Japanese and American Prints, Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery, University of California at Santa Cruz and Marin County Civic Center,  San Rafael, California
Yosemite Renaissance III, National Competition, Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, Yosemite & Fresno Metropolitan Museum, Fresno, California

1989  Tradition and Innovation: 1500-1989, Achenbach Foundation, Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, California
Down to the Sea in Ships, Gallery Concord, Concord, California
Magnolia Editions: Works on Paper, The Art Museum of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California

1990  Pacific Prints, Pacific Art League of Palo Alto, Palo Alto, California
Yosemite Renaissance V, Yosemite, California
Group Exhibition, Graystone Artists, Mendocino Art Center, Mendocino, California
2nd Annual Exhibition, Gallery Concord, Concord, California

1991  Solo Exhibition, Miramar Gallery, Sarasota, Florida
Solo Exhibition, Oakland Museum Collectors Gallery, Oakland, California
San Francisco Murals, Pogo Press, Inc.
Get Real, Gallery Concord, Concord, California

1992  Recent Acquisitions, Hearst Art Gallery, Saint Mary’s College, Moraga, California

1993  Ten Years of Printmaking-Magnolia Editions, California Museum of Art, Luther Burbank Center, Santa Rosa, California

1995  Solo Exhibition, Hespe Gallery, San Francisco, California
Yosemite Renaissance X, Yosemite, California

2000  Solo Exhibition, Maxwell Galleries, LTD., San Francisco, California

2002  Solo Exhibition, Montgomery Gallery, San Francisco, California
The Miniature Show, Graystone, San Francisco, California

2003  Unbounded Vistas: Artists Interpret the Northern California Landscape, Hearst Art
Gallery, Saint Mary’s College, Moraga, California

2004  Small Format, Graystone, San Francisco, California

2007  Group Exhibition: Town and Country, Hearst Art Gallery, Saint Mary’s College, Moraga, California

2008  Solo Exhibition: A Closer Look, November 6, Cambridge Art Gallery, Santa Monica, California

2009  Upcoming Solo Exhibition: Whispering Waters, November 5, Cambridge Art Gallery, Santa Monica, California

Biography from Montgomery Gallery:
Through Louis LaBrie's finely focused landscapes the viewer can participate in an exploration of nature.  Due to LaBrie's exactness in brush stroke and interpreting eye his work reveals the artist's love for nature and for the art itself.  The works, likened to still-lives, portray a serenity as well as a time arrested.

During LaBrie's undergraduate career at the University of California at Santa Barbara, he participated in camping trips with Professor Gary Brown which focused on drawing.  These trips further enhanced his interest in landscape.  The artist lived in the Sierra Foothills for six months in 1977.  Taking full advantage of this time the artist both refined his powers of observation, as well as returning to sites to complete detailed pen and charcoal drawings.

LaBrie's artistic talents were initiated early in his life by his great-uncle, landscape artist Phillip Menard.  LaBrie attributes his most significant inspiration to his uncle.  As the artist explored and traveled, he integrated discoveries into his art.

Both the precision and the vision seen in LaBrie's work serve the artist in his pursuit to combine the traditional with the contemporary.  The artist feels that established technique and abstracted elements do not cancel each other out, but rather work together to support one another.  LaBrie's landscapes embrace space, light and tranquility in a meticulous and organized way.

Education:
Bachelor of Arts (with Honors) 1972: University of California, Santa Barbara, California
Studied with Paul Wonner, Larry Rivers, Gary Brown, Irma Cavat, Howard Fenton, Mickey Dvorsak

Solo Exhibitions:
1990 Oakland Museum Collectors Gallery, Oakland, CA
1987 Oakland Museum Collectors' Gallery, Oakland, CA
1982 San Francisco State University, San Francisco
1981 Missoula Museum of the Arts, Missoula, CA

Commissions, Murals, Illustrations:
1981 Alameda County Board of Education
1979 Montessori Center, Santa Barbara, CA
1978 University of California, Berkeley, CA
1977 City of Albany, CA
1976 National Parks Service, Fort Mason, 'The City Rising,' San Francisco
1975 Machu Picchu Restaurant, Berkeley, CA

Grants:
1984 Intersection, San Francisco, CA
Lithography at Magnolia Editions, Oakland, CA

Public and Corporate Collections:
Achenbach Foundation, Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco
Hearst Art Gallery, St. Mary's College, Moraga, CA
Hewlett-Packard Foundation, CA
United States State Department, Washington, D.C.
Merrill Lynch Collection, San Francisco
Pillsbury Collection, San Francisco
The Jane Voorhies Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Jersey
Lynn Gould, Curator of Prints, San Diego Art Museum, CA
Kaiser Foundation Collection, Oakland, CA
Sperry Corporation, Philadelphia, PA
IBM Corporation, Atlanta, GA
Life Insurance Company of Georgia, Atlanta, GA
Smith-Barney, Boston, MA
American Management Systems, Lakewood, CO
Cargil Inc., Minneapolis, MN
Texaco Corporation, Dallas, TX
Alameda County Art Commission, CA

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