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Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery celebrates the first solo exhibition in five years for Ojai-based contemporary painter, JOHN NAVA. This exhibition marks a return to floral still life, a subject that helped build the artist’s reputation as one of the country’s most important realist painters. Over the past two decades the artist has also become nationally renowned for his innovation with jacquard tapestry, with large commissions in places like the Los Angeles Cathedral, Princeton, USC, and UCSD. The monumental tapestry from Nava’s last exhibition at Sullivan Goss now resides in the permanent collection of the Museum of Ventura County. Recently the artist began making his first works combining his specialties of still life and tapestry, and this will be the first solo show to feature the new floral tapestries. 

In addition to the florals, Nava has created four iconic portraits of Anacapa Island, as seen across the Santa Barbara Channel from the local coastline. For decades, John has been a highly sought after portrait artist, but for these works the artist set himself the challenge of doing portraits of a place using traditional aspects of a seascape by focusing on the delicate combination of air, land, and sea. 

As a collection, the body of work in the exhibition represents some of the finest examples of the artist’s lifelong experimentation with historical techniques to create contemporary works of art. 



John Nava studied art at UC Santa Barbara under Howard Warshaw and did his graduate work in Florence, Italy. His work is found in numerous private, corporate and public collections throughout the United States, Europe and Japan including the National Museum of American Art in Washington D.C., the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) of Hawaii, the Triton Museum in San Jose, California, the Museum of Ventura County, and the Figge Museum, Davenport, IA. Sacred Material: The Art of the Tapestries of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, a large monograph the artist and his creation of the Communion of the Saints tapestries for Our Lady of the Angels cathedral in downtown Los Angeles was published in 2017.

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