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Figuratively Painting: Karen Staal at Rogue Gallery & Art Center

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From soup cans displayed in four different color types to throwing paint on a canvas, to bicycle wheels hung in a gallery, abstract art takes a countless number of forms and mediums, often tackling everyday life with seemingly simple clear, bold images.

Karen Staal’s current exhibit at Rogue Gallery & Art in Medford is a perfect example of representing abstract art with clear images and defining colors and runs through Feb. 16. Her work is titled as “Figurative Paintings,” though they may also be title as the simplicity of life.

“Karen Staal works with strong abstract areas of color which is unusual for figurative work,” says Executive Director of Rogue Gallery & Art Kim Hearon. “Her figures are clear and contemplative. I find the combination of abstract spaces with a representational figure intriguing and somewhat mysterious.”

Staal has a BFA in art from the San Francisco Art Institute, as well as earning a degree from Kendall School and Design and studied abstract painting at the American University. Like many of the talented artists in the Rogue Valley, Staal’s art has taken her across the nation. Her figurative paintings in oil and acrylic have been exhibited up and down the West Coast.

“I usually bring one or more figures into my work which open the possibility of emotion or narrative, but my main purpose in painting is to achieve a spatial harmony which is satisfying to view,” she shares in the bio on her website. “My goal is not to depict people exactly as they are, but to interpret them by creating new harmonies with line, shape, and color.”

Her painting “One Heart” depicts a man waist-deep in a pool next to a woman tanning out of the water. Staal’s consistent and various shades of blues in the water blend in with the sky, or perhaps reflecting the thick clouds above them. The woman’s pink bathing suit not only pops against the blue, but emphasizes the man and woman’s expressions, revealing a peaceful moment between them.

Also exhibited until Feb. 2 is Silvia Trujillo’s landscape paintings. For more information about the gallery and its exhibits, visit rougegallery.org.


Karen Staal at Rogue Gallery & Art Centre
10 am – 5 pm, Tues. – Fri.
11 am – 3 pm, Sat.
40 Bartlett St, Medford



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