K.C. Bacon applies French post-impressionism to Northwest landscapes

Tacoma artist K.C. Bacon does oil paintings of local landscapes that are very much in the vein of works by Vincent Van Gogh. Photo of art by Dave R. Davison

No doubt about it, Tacoma’s K.C. Bacon is an interesting fellow. A Navy veteran and religious scholar, Bacon has published several books — poetry, philosophical aphorisms, a novella and a comic novel.

He is also a self-taught painter who has a big batch of paintings currently on display at Tahoma Center Gallery, located at 1323 S. Yakima Ave.

The first impression on walking into the gallery is that one is looking at work by Vincent Van Gogh. The large oil paintings — landscapes, still lifes and portraits — are done in thick layers of lively brush strokes in bright colors. Upon closer inspection, however, one can begin to see the influence of other post-impressionist masters like Henri Matisse and Paul Cezanne.

Bacon’s paintings are sumptuous, brightly-hued combinations of French fauvism and expressionism applied to local scenery. Bacon’s painting of Mount Rainier gives you a good idea of what Van Gogh might have done had he been able to paint in the Pacific Northwest. Bacon does exhibit a wide stylistic range. He can do abstract, impasto paintings like “Tsunami” and “Scheherazade.” Or he can do precise portraits using washes like “Pensive Yolanda” in which the paint is so thin that the woodgrains of the panel show through.

He also does still life and portraiture. A show of his paintings are showing through Feb. 28 at the Tahoma Center Gallery. Photo of art by Dave R. Davison

Tahoma Center Gallery has been around for quite a long while, but remains largely off the radar. It is part of St. Leo’s church complex along Yakima Avenue. Visitors are required to sign in and are then instructed to go up to the second floor. A wide, quiet, carpeted hallway functions as the gallery.

The oil paintings by K.C. Bacon will be on view through Feb. 28. Tahoma Center Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact gallery coordinator Lara Durand-Gordon at LaraD@ccsww.org.

For more on K.C. Bacon, visit his website: www.kcbacon.com.

After K.C. Bacon’s show has finished, Tahoma Center Gallery’s 2018 schedule features Rainier League of Arts, paintings and glass; Mountaineers, photographs; Puget Sound Sumi Artists, sumi-e; Erin Wetzel, watercolor and ink caricatures; and Kath Gallier, photographs.

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  1. Dave, you have written a lovely review of Kevin’s work. I didn’t know you had posted the review, but Kevin informed me you had. We would appreciate your consideration in reviewing our exhibits on a frequent basis, as we have never had a reviewer. Thank you for giving the gallery hours and times we’re open, my contact info, and our upcoming exhibits. Lara Durand-Gordon, Catholic Community Services

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