Sullivan Goss’ current exhibition The Invention of American Abstract Art, curated by Jeremy Tessmer, explores how abstract art materialized and evolved within the works of Werner Drewes (1899-1985), Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967), and Sidney Gordin (1918-1996) after they moved to the United States. During the twentieth century, discoveries in quantum theory, relativity, and cosmic evolution largely shaped artistic attempts to conceptualize the human condition. Although it is widely attributed to its European inception, abstract art sustained formal developments when it spread to the United States in the later half of the twentieth century.
Santa Barbara and its environs offer a visual treasure trove of hidden gems. Small spaces of secret beauties, coves of elegance and broad vistas of graceful nature can be found by an inquisitive eye. One man has set these sights onto canvas with great expression. A lifelong resident, painter Hank Pitcher is a true product of his environment. His visual efforts are eloquent in the progression of art history and Plein Air painting.
STRONG, FLOWER CROWNED WOMEN. Mice figurines living in their own tiny worlds. Soaring skycaps above calm oceans. California landscapes hanging besides 60’s abstract works. This fall, visitors of Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery will be greeted with these delightful works and more as they explore The Green House and The San Francisco Fall Show exhibitions.
For four decades, dealers and patrons have been spoiled by the grandeur of the San Francisco Fall Show, from postcard views to the popping of Champagne bottles. This year, those extras will be shelved, but fortunately, fans can still expect a collector’s paradise of art, antiques and decor and — mais oui — revel in some retail therapy.
If this year’s event has revealed one thing, it’s the loyalty of the show’s longstanding dealers, with more than 90 percent of the stable partaking in the new format. Additionally, several dealers who haven’t exhibited at the show in more than a decade will be returning, including Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz, Sullivan Goss and Liz O’Brien. And exciting new vendors have been added to the lineup, including Barbara Israel Garden Antiques, Michael Goedhuis, Finch & Company, O’Sullivan Antiques, Philip Stites (formerly of Therien), Somerville Manning, the Chinese Porcelain Company and Ursus Books.
Santa Barbara has been a hotspot for tourism and travel ever since the early 20th century, when wealthy visitors would make their way to the “American Riviera” to take in its beautiful scenery, museums and galleries. When the pandemic hit, Santa Barbara virtually shut down, forcing these museums and showrooms to close their doors to the public until they were able to open up again safely. Now that Santa Barbara County has been placed into the lower-danger red tier, the restrictions have gotten thinner and people are yet again permitted to visit and enjoy some of the city’s favorite museums. ...
Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery
Another Santa Barbara gem that should be on everybody’s must-see list is the Sullivan Goss American Gallery. Located at 11 E. Anapamu St., the small showspace is currently allowing people in at a limited capacity and the admittance is free. Each piece is for sale, so if anything in particular strikes your eye don’t hesitate to inquire about it. The Sullivan Goss curators are knowledgeable on the history of each piece and each artist featured in its collection. The gallery is open 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. everyday.
Thanks to the fine staff at Sullivan Goss, there’s at least one pre-pandemic pleasure that’s still available in unadulterated form, and that’s the sublime experience of losing yourself in contemplation of a great painting. The exhibition Wosene Worke Kosrof: For Love of Words, which is on view at the gallery through September 21, is packed with some of the most generous and striking examples of contemporary abstraction you’re likely to find anywhere right now, and all that’s required is that you mask up before visiting the gallery, which is open daily 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Clad in a Mexican peasant outfit, the young woman confidently sits astride a horse rearing on its two back legs while a black and white cow observes nearby.
Barely visible in the background are the words “Hi,” “Aloha,” “Ola,” “Howdy” and “Haku.”
The title of the enigmatic oil painting is “Greetings from California, 2020,” and it is part of artist Holli Harmon’s first solo exhibition, “Califia,” on view through Sept. 21 at Sullivan Goss-An American Gallery on East Anapamu Street.
Strong female figures are integral to the works of portrait and landscape artist Holli Harmon, whose latest muse is a mythical warrior queen, Califia, aka “the Spirit of California.”
“Somehow, Califia was in my subconscious,” the local painter told the Sun, while discussing her art featured in a new exhibition, the Califia Series, at Sullivan Goss Gallery in Santa Barbara (through Monday, Sept. 21).
With such clarity and positivity in short supply, this new volume devoted to the paintings of Hank Pitcher comes as a much-appreciated balm to the spirit. Paging through its 254 richly colorful pages allows one to fathom the range and intensity of Pitcher’s output over a career that stretches without a break from his enrollment at UCSB’s College of Creative Studies in 1967 to the present. Although he’s probably best known for bringing images from surfing into the canon of fine art, this retrospective demonstrates how various his work has been over five decades, and how deeply rooted it is in the unique advantages offered by our region.
The Wildling Museum of Art and Nature is pleased to welcome artist Holli Harmon for the next installment of the museum’s digital presentation series on Wednesday, August 19, 2020at 4 p.m. via Zoom. Harmon previously exhibited at the Wildling Museum as part of The River’s Journey in 2018. On July 31st, she opens a new exhibition at Santa Barbara’s Sullivan Goss Gallery featuring her most recent body of work, Califia, referencing the mythical female warrior who became the state of California’s namesake.
Well-known Santa Barbara artist Hank Pitcher likes things simple, whether painting iconic scenes of contemporary California culture and the coastal landscape or describing their back stories.
This message comes across loud and clear in the huge, coffee-table book, titled simply, “Hank Pitcher,” recently published by Sullivan Goss — An American Gallery.
For nearly five decades, Hank Pitcher has painted what he knows best: Santa Barbara and the people who inhabit it. Now his gallery of 20 years, Sullivan Goss–An American Gallery, has produced an impressive monograph (Hank Pitcher, available at Upstairs and Pierre Lafond) packed with vibrant images accompanied by thoughtful essays penned by scholars, colleagues, and friends. It's a well-deserved paean to the artist's oeuvre.
As one of the original students at the College of Creative Studies (CCS), Hank Pitcher (Art '71) was influenced immediately by seminars with visionary scientist Buchminister Fuller and the beginning of a long association with literary critic Marvin Mudrick, the first CCS Provost. Working with distinguished faculty and visitors at CCS is the foundation upon which he has built his own work and on which he credits his success.
Any time is the right time to check in on the evolving artistic life of Patricia Chidlaw, one of the finer and more singular painters of note who call Santa Barbara home. But, ironically or not, her work — with its attitudinal and stylistic links to the lonely luster of Edward Hopper’s painting — suddenly feels more timely and emotionally resonant than ever in our current era.
Down through time, easel painting has been invented, reinvented, constructed, deconstructed, put to death and brought back to life again.
Solidly grounded in the historical elements of pictorial representation, Patricia Chidlaw’s approach to painting is vibrantly alive in a new exhibition at Santa Barbara’s Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery. Here, steadfast windows are open to a world of unique and overlooked wonders from California and the desert Southwest.
One of my first outings when the coronavirus lockdown started to ease was to pick up my long-awaited, signed copy of artist Hank Pitcher’s namesake retrospective at Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery in downtown Santa Barbara.
“I always hear people say that in the design for any chair or garment, the inside is just as good as the outside. The idea is to make the experience as immersive, engaging and fresh as possible,” says Divya Thakur of her intentions with her latest curatorial feat—expanding the Museum of Design Excellence (MoDE) to a digital and consequently, global landscape—made possible due to a partnership between the Museum and Google. “Brick-and-mortar museums usually think to convert physical aspects into digital. We are creating exhibits only for the digital platform…something that is tailor-made for the virtual world.”
It was remarkable then — and even more amazing now looking back — that so many important artists came to the desert in the early days.
These artists, whose paintings now garner unimaginably handsome sums at auction, worked “en plein air,” away from their studios, capturing the subtle and ever-changing colors of this unique landscape.
The early 20th century was a time of innocence and exploration in California’s desert wilds. Some painters were driven to escape the ravages of tuberculosis, and others, like Lockwood de Forest, who made 10 documented visits in the very beginning of the 20th century, were drawn by the extraordinary views made glorious by an indescribable yellow light.
Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem,” says A.A. Milne from the popular book Winnie the Pooh. This quote has directly affected the new work of artist Susan McDonnell, who will be showcasing her magical, highly realistic animal and wildlife paintings at Sullivan Goss. While her past collections have explored the intri- cacies of still life, she slowly expanded to include living elements.
No business these days is immune from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, be it ones that fall under industries designated “essential” and those that don’t.
Many in the latter category have resorted to completely digital means to keep going with varying degrees of success, but this isn’t really a viable alternative for Santa Barbara’s many art galleries.
Recently, I asked folks to send stories about animals who had changed their lives. Artist Susan McDonnell sent me her story, told through a painting.
As an explanation for the painting, here is what she wrote:
“In the early 2000s, I lived in a house with a small garden pond. In the late Spring, a Red Darner dragonfly took up residency. I started taking photos at a distance and got closer and closer. Over time the dragonfly let me get within inches and then let me lightly touch its wings. This dragonfly showed up every morning around 10 and patrolled the pond until around 4 pm for about 4 months. We ‘visited’ every day and I spent a lot of time quietly observing and marveling at the dragonfly’s beauty. As you can see from the photo this dragonfly was a bit of a ham.”
Venturing into an exhibition of paintings by Phoebe Brunner, one expects a certain transformative effect, to encounter something of an alternate reality. Land, sky, and reworked art historical references have long been at the heart of her painterly interests, but always under the influence of varying degrees of dream logic.
A RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBITION OF PAINTINGS to commemorate the five decade career of distinguished artist and painter, Michael Dvortcsak, will be on display at Sullivan Goss from February 28th through March 22nd with an opening reception on Thursday, March 5th from 5 to 8pm. The exhibition, A Life's Work, includes paintings from many of Dvortcsak's major series of life work, providing viewers with a snapshot of how his art and career has evovled over the course of his life.
“Art helps,” states Nathan Vonk unequivocally. “It’s there to make you happy. It’s a constant in times of trouble and change, and it’s something that you share with loved ones and friends.”
THE DEEP TRADITION OF CREATION IN RESPONSE TO A SOUL TIE WITH THE LAND will envelop Sullivan Goss on 1st Thursday, February 6th when they open Homestead, their fifth solo exhibition of Meredith Brooks Abbott's work.
Sullivan Goss gets lots of shout-outs in this column, and why not? They have a major show nearly every other month, and one of our top for-profit galleries in Santa Barbara, which is an achievement in itself, just existing for so long, promoting the best of our living artists and representing our past as well.
This is a story which may leave you with more questions than answers. It’s the story of a both obscure, yet acclaimed artist who pushed the boundaries of abstract watercolor paintings. Harvey Leepa did what some critics call his best work during a quarter of a century of seclusion in Montecito.
LIke most art collectors, the Nicholsons – Sandi and Bill – are interesting people. What makes them fascinating is the nature of their collection: All of the work is by women artists.
Nathan Huff's exhibition at the Sullivan Goss Gallery, Santa Barbara, which runs until 2019 September 24, is titled The Stories We Tell Ourselves. The young Californian artist relies for his visual creations on elements spotted in nature and around him. In this exhibition are gathered works that include certain realities belonging to the plant world (trees, plants but no animals this time) to which are added representations in a reduced model of things produced by man (boats, ladders, etc.).
Monday, July 8, 2019, was the last day to view a collection of landscape painter Ray Strong’s work at the Wildling Museum in Santa Ynez Valley, the day coincidentally, I sat with Patricia Chidlaw in her studio to talk about painting.
Nathan Huff's paintings and sculptures are made of recognizable objects – boats, sails, trees, rocks – but combined in a dream-like way where all defy gravity and encourage you to do so, too. In his solo show "The Stories We Tell Ourselves," Huff brings a selection of works since he arrived in town to teach at Westmont in 2013.
ENGAGINGLY FAMILIAR, YET TEAMING WITH OFF THE WALL DYNAMICS, Nathan Huff: The Stories We Tell Ourselves will be center stage at Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery's 1st Thursday on August 1st from 5 to 8pm.
Barring any unknown knowns and known unknowns, our current most vital exhibition happening this summer is Inga Guzyte's "#rebelwomen" solo show at Sullivan Goss (11 E. Anapamu). And I'm not just hyping it because I wrote a cover story on her for Montecito Journal (cough, cough), but seriously, Guzyte is about to blow up big time, much like her friend David Flores.