Renée Zangaras oil paintings reference the still life. Fruit and plant forms are the subjects in most of her paintings, although it is often difficult to tell exactly what kind of fruit this artist is painting.
Renee Zangara, Blue Plate Special (2002), oil on linen [Alysia Duckler Gallery, Portland, OR,Oct 3-Nov 2]
Zangara is fascinated with botanical entities and their surrounding environments. Round forms of fruit dominate most of her compositions, however the light within each object, as well as the colour and compositional placement seem to be more important elements in her paintings, than the subject of fruit. In fact one gets the feeling that these painted fruits are imagined rather than studied.
It is no secret that fruit is a symbol for life, growth and fertility. With an expressive halo of brushstrokes above and around each piece, Zangaras fruit have strength in their formal elements, even if the message is unclear, and this is perhaps the beauty of the work.
Zangaras compositions are very central. Approaching her subjects straight on or from above, she gives them lots of space to breathe among her abundantly coloured and sensuously painted grounds. Zangara says she is attracted to the variety of shapes, and the numerous characteristics of line that interlace the botanical and human worlds. However she admits, there are intangible attractions to these equations that remain ambiguous.