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Clar Monaco (American, b. 1955, Spokane, Washington) is a Visual Artist-Musician best known for his expressionist figure paintings. Ranging from intimate portraits to large-scale multi-figured groupings, the works explore psychological states and symbolic imagery. The paintings feature groups of nudes engaged in fiery rituals; animals on the loose; introspective individuals. Haunting and mysterious, these works speak of shifting powers, determination, and forces both instinctual and metaphysical.


In other paintings and mixed media work, wry humor and lightheartedness prevail. The artist has made repeated use of the dog-bone motif. “The Bone Show” of 1986 (at Zolla-Lieberman Gallery, Chicago) included bones in blue neon and was the first of Monaco’s art exhibitions to incorporate music: Viewers listened to the artist/musician singing and playing his “Bone Theme” soundtrack via hand held radio receivers as they toured the gallery. This crossover of genres and mediums led the Indiana Tri-Town Times to write, “the artist’s work - (both musical and visual) is not predictable or easy to neatly categorize.”


Monaco received his BFA (1977) from Fort Wright College of the Holy Names, Spokane and an MFA (1981) from the University of Chicago. His paintings are in collections across the U.S. and have been featured in exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois State Museum, and the University Art Museum, Santa Barbara, California. Monaco’s work has been reviewed and critically acclaimed in international journals such as Art In America, Art Forum, ARTnews, and Flash Art.


Clar Monaco’s first notoriety as a multi-talented musician manifested in reviews of his 1986 Bone Show.


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