As we move deeper into Spring, Sullivan Goss is excited to welcome visitors into the gallery to see seventeen new paintings by HANK PITCHER – Santa Barbara’s most iconic artist. Upon request, a small, choice selection of additional new paintings can be seen in the back room. It’s been two years since the artist’s last breakout exhibition, HANK PITCHER: Primal, but it feels like it’s been both much shorter and much longer. 2020 seemed like the longest year anyone can remember, but it also carved a hole in our collective memory, leaving the sensation of one very, very long day in its place. For Hank, it was a good day to paint.
Said the artist, “But I learn over and over that it is about who we are as much about where we are – about what we do with what we have. Sometimes you have to paddle hard to catch a wave, but there is also the “no paddle takeoff,” and that is all about timing, not strength.”
As the world emerges from its COVID chrysalis, the Gallery is betting that they will love seeing Hank’s newest body of work. Pitcher’s days amid the wild flora and fauna of Coastal California shows up in lusciously colored, visionary landscapes that often include revelers at the continent’s edge. Most of the works were painted in 2020 and 2021, with a lone shipwreck beckoning us back to 2019 – when a deep ocean sailboat washed ashore near the artist’s studio at Coal Oil Point. Remaining attentive to the present has grounded Hank Pitcher’s painting practice for over fifty years. According to the artist, “You have to steal the moment. This is all we have, and it is everything.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
HANK PITCHER has been exhibiting for over fifty years. He currently lectures at U.C.S.B.’s College of Creative Studies, where he has served since 1971. Early on, he befriended Paul Wonner and later Paul Georges on the East Coast, making him an unlikely bridge between two distinctive post-abstraction figurative styles. The second printing of his sold out monograph is on its way.
5:24 | Hank Pitcher and Jeremy Tessmer
Early morning, late summer, three painters scout for a coastal painting view. Several locations are considered. One of the painters, Hank Pitcher, chimes in with a smile: “I don’t care where it is so long as there’s water in it.” To beat the sunrise, they choose a pasture close by occupied by several large bulls.
Water indeed. As a swimmer needs a pool, Hank Pitcher needs an ocean, as evidenced by recent paintings on view at Sullivan Goss Gallery.
SUN KISSED SURFBOARDS AND SURFS-UP SUNRISES define and illuminate the California dream which is embodied in the paintings of Hank Pitcher, now on display at Sullivan Goss. In at least his eleventh solo exhibit at the gallery, Pitcher focuses on the sense of "just now," perhaps a feeling many of us have experienced as time warped during a year of quiet and isolation brought on by social distancing.