Artist of the Month

Bob Nugent


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Jardim Inhotim 42  (2019), oil on linen, 52" x 40"

Jardim Inhotim 42 (2019), oil on linen, 52" x 40"

"My work refers to Brazilian travels, specifically along the Amazon River Basin. Naturalistic forms resembling beehives, vertebrae, cocoons, anthills, plant forms and insects are spread across the surface of the work. The work transcribes a memory of objects and impressions of what was seen and felt.

Brazil and the Amazon River Basin have been the subject and inspiration for my work for more than twenty-five years. The Amazon River is an apt metaphor for the act of churning up remembered objects and sights, gathered while traveling along its rough course. In its flow, the river boils an object to the surface only to swallow it up again to resurface later. These impressions are a memory of the river bound on both sides by a high, dark jungle; foreboding and beautiful. If it takes you in, it takes you in whole."


About the Artist

Bob Nugent received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1971. Since that time he has been awarded numerous grants and fellowships including a Tiffany Foundation Fellowship, NEA Fellowship, Fullbright Travel Grant and a California Arts Council Grant for his work in Brazil. In 2005, after 34 years of teaching painting and drawing, Bob retired from Sonoma State University. The following year he was elected to Professor Emeritus in Art at Sonoma. Bob has had over 120 solo exhibitions and has been included in over 650 group exhibitions throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and South America. His work has been advocated for by Carol Stein since 1980.

Bob Nugent first became interested in the Indigenous peoples and rain forest of South America in the summer of 1984 during a trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil to see an artist friend. Over more than 30 years he has made repeated sojourns to South America and in particular the Amazon Basin of Brazil. Returning to Brazil now one to two times a year, Bob continues his research and study of the flora and fauna of the Amazon Region as well as other parts of the country. But it is the vital layer, as Nugent calls it, which interests him the most.


“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery”. - Francis Bacon