If ever a landscape were a living, breathing thing, it's under Phoebe Brunner's brush. Plants and flowers; clouds, fog and mist; open plains, mountains and shorelines – all transformed by thick layers of light-filtered paint that seem to pulse with an inner radiance.
How does anyone make serious art in Santa Barbara?
The sun, the ocean, the beautiful people, the fresh produce … it’s a good-time kinda place, according to Nathan Vonk, owner of Sullivan Goss-An American Gallery.
“In a locally notorious essay from 2000, famed critic and teacher Dave Hickey called Santa Barbara, ‘a hellish paradise … where one doesn’t really need art … if one is comfy there.’ His essay is both hilarious and galling and not entirely incorrect. But there are now and always have been very serious artists in this small, seaside hamlet,” said Mr. Vonk.
“Leon Dabo: En France Encore,” a show timed to coincide with the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s major Van Gogh-themed exhibition, is on view through March 28 at Sullivan Goss Gallery, 11 E. Anapamu St.
“Leon Dabo was a French-born American artist who became well known before the first World War as a tonalist painter,” said Nathan Vonk, owner of the Sullivan Goss Gallery. “As one of the organizers of the 1913 Armory show in New York City, Mr. Dabo played a key role in introducing impressionism, post-impressionism and modernism to an American audience.
“After his time spent in Europe as an intelligence officer during the first World War, his work took a dramatic turn toward post-impressionism with pieces that show the obvious influence of Van Gogh’s work, an aesthetic lineage that only became stronger after the second World War.”
LEON DABO (1864-1960) was a French-born American painter who had an extraordinarily long career, from the early 1890s through 1954. His father, Igance Schott de Dabo was a mural painter and stained-glass artist who emigrated with his family to escape political unrest in France, settling in Detroit. Leon Dabo became a muralist, too, working on ecclesiastical and other public commissions under the direction of John La Farge in New York. In the first years of the 20th century, Dabo gained recognition as a painter, primarily of landscapes in the Tonalist style.
REGULAR SULLIVAN GOSS GALLERY OBSERVERS and art-watchers will know something of the Frenchman-in-New-York artist Leon Dabo. The gallery, having acquired the artist's estate eleven years ago under the aegis of original owner Frank Goss, has presented the quietly majestic art of Dabo (1864-1960) in group shows and a few solo exhibitions with catalogues in tow.
JUST IN TIME FOR A NEW YEAR, a new hope and a harbinger of wished-for continuity, Sullivan Goss kicks off with a main gallery exhibition looking both inward and out. As suggested by its title, Juxtaposed: The Art of Curation in which the very art of curation is central to its end effect. As art presentation dictates, guiding curatorial forces follow a creative collective heart, behind the art on the walls, but this time in a self-conscious way.
The Anapamu Street facade of Sullivan Goss, An American Gallery, looks friendly with a dash of imposing. As the city’s premier gallery, its status complements the Santa Barbara Museum of Art across the street. Established artists such as Hank Pitcher, Nicole Strasburg, John Nava, and Angela Perko have been with the gallery for several decades. Individual works on display are priced as high as five or six figures. Its archival holdings stretch into the 19th century, and the gallery has published handsome scholarly monographs on master artists including Ray Strong. Leon Dabo, and Lockwood de Forest. Sullivan Goss looks like a pillar of the art establishment because it is one.
This accumulated prestige makes the story of the gallery’s breakout star of the moment that much more interesting. Inga Guzyte, a 37-year-old immigrant from Lithuania by way of Germany, just sold out her solo show Young Sparrows.
Artist Inga Guzyte painted the works in “Young Sparrows,” her solo exhibition. The term “Young Sparrows” refers to daughters. Among them are Amanda Gorman, Momiji Nishiya, Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai and Millie Bobby Brown.
From performance artists to politicians, from activists to musicians, Inga Guzyte created a large series of portraits of women she admired for her first solo exhibition at Sullivan Goss-An American Gallery in 2019.
For the current exhibition on view through Dec. 27, she has focused on the idea of younger women.
Once a longtime backdrop to a part Coast Village Road shopping history, a Hank Pitcher canvas has been rediscovered, 30 years after it was hidden from the public. Out of sight, out of mind, this Pitcher work was thought lost.
Sullivan Goss is always one of our favorite places during the First Thursday art walk. They have always featured top quality modern art, but even more than in the past they are also featuring some older pieces. Here are a few samples.
Many local residents divide their time between Santa Barbara and their second homes in other cities strewn across the continent. As summer turns to fall, they begin to think about returning to the warmer weather and slower pace of life that Santa Barbara offers.
“California on My Mind,” the current exhibition at Sullivan Goss: An American Gallery, calls them to do just that.
Historic and contemporary paintings, drawings and prints by artists from Southern California highlight the region’s history and mythology.
AS THE ARTS & CULTURE SEASON HEATS UP, galleries and museums are stepping up to add their own flair and excitement to the mix. As one of Santa Barbara’s finest galleries, Sullivan Goss: An American Gallery is leading the way with several new exhibitions by local favorites, including Nathan Huff: Almost Here, and the second solo exhibition by Inga Guzyte: Young Sparrows.
Sea change is defined as “a profound or notable transformation, substantial change in perspective, transformation after undergoing various trials or tragedies.”
Which is why Nicole Strasburg thought “Sea Change” would be the perfect title for her first solo exhibition in five years at the Sullivan Goss: An American Gallery in downtown Santa Barbara, where she has been exhibiting for 17 years.
The paintings will be on view through Sept. 27.
“This is my church, my heart,” Nicole Strasburg says of her painting studio, adding, “I’m not a very good plein-air painter, I have no focus for painting when I’m out in the open air.”
Near the ocean, facing east to catch the morning sunrise, Strasburg and her husband have built a tidy freestanding studio. It’s small, yet big enough to fit a large wall for display, counters, storage, islands on rollers, easels and tons of inspiration – including the memories and sensations she brings in from the outside, plein-air world.
Sullivan Goss: An American Gallery will present its latest exhibit, “Paper Trail: The Life Story of Great Works of Art,” Aug. 27-Oct. 25.
“Paper Trail” explores how art moves through the world and across time.
The exhibit will feature historical and modern works that have been made in important ateliers, owned by important art world figures, exhibited in museums and/or published in magazines or catalogs, according to a news release.
SANTA BARBARA — Sullivan Goss: An American Gallery has announced “Sea Change,” artist Nicole Strasburg’s first solo exhibit in five years.
The show is set for July 30 to Sept. 27 at the gallery, located at 11 E. Anapamu St.
The opening reception will take place 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 5 during 1st Thursday.
“In the past few years, she has been avidly exploring new ways of approaching color, examining the sky, rendering clouds, and mapping the ocean in all of its many moods. The result is an exhibition full of the shape and wonder of Nature doing its thing,” the Santa Barbara gallery said in a news release.
Beyond the standard art historical idea of a school or a movement lies the territory suggested by significant aesthetic trends that seemingly exceed conscious intention. ORGANIC, the current show at Sullivan Goss, An American Gallery, offers a snapshot of one such sprawling and manifold tendency in contemporary art. “Organic,” one of the 21st century’s most popular (and unreliable) words, refers in this case to the blurring of boundaries and the celebration of overlaps between art objects and the shapes and materials of the natural world.
Lynda Weinman never had to ask the question after she and her husband Bruce Heavin, sold their company, lynda.com, an online software training website, to Linkedin in 2015.
She knew exactly what she wanted to do.
“While I was in high school, I loved to spend all my spare time making pottery. So one of the first things I did was take a ceramics class at Adult Ed,” Ms. Weinman told the News-Press. “But I didn’t like it. It was too crowded. I couldn’t get the individual attention I needed.”
The painter and filmmaker Oskar Fischinger has long been a well-kept secret of the midcentury Southern California modern-art scene—itself a rather well-kept secret of the American art world in general. The German-born artist, who was active in Los Angeles from the 1930s through the 1960s, made abstract paintings in the European “non-objective” tradition of Kandinsky, Klee, and Mondrian, but his greatest passion was for abstract film, a genre that he had a large part in inventing.
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.
Kindred Spirits, on view at Sullivan Goss through May 24, is a sculptural garden of earthly delights celebrating the collaborative ceramics made by Patrick Hall and Lynda Weinman. Each piece marries one of Hall’s elegant and symmetrical bases to a top section created by Weinman using computer-aided 3D modeling. While Hall’s vessels follow the venerable ceramic art tradition of vases and bowls, Weinman’s quirky contributions put a different spin on the idea, reimagining vessels that resemble the anatomical tubes that carry blood, or perhaps cephalopod tentacles, or even the stems of exotic plants.
A NEW KIND OF WHEEL TURNS THE CLAY OF THESE ARTISTS, challenging the galaxy with the melding of new and ancient arts, as the parched earth opens its arms to Patrick Hall & Lynda Weinman: Kindred Spirits and Maria Rendón: Rain, two new exhibitions recently opened at Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery.
A funny thing happened on the way to the reopening of downtown Santa Barbara following the COVID-19 crisis. For years, if not decades, Santa Barbara artists have lamented the fact that, despite a preponderance of distinguished fine art collections in the city’s proliferation of lavish domestic spaces, collectors have — with few exceptions — tended to purchase their art elsewhere. Now it seems that, along with what has been described as a significant backlog of unfilled orders for new furniture, there is something of a rush to collect art through Santa Barbara galleries and, in many instances, by Santa Barbara artists.
Case in point: Maria Rendón’s solo debut show at Sullivan Goss Gallery, Rain, which opened on Thursday, April 1, is well on its way to an 80 or even a 90 percent sell-through rate, with the largest (and most expensive) works promised to buyers before they hit the gallery walls.
As we count down the days until Santa Barbara reaches the red tier and museums open again, it’s a delight to relish the freedom to operate that pandemic quarantine rules have given to our city’s excellent art galleries. At Sullivan Goss, An American Gallery, on Anapamu Street, visitors can catch two great shows featuring some of the top artists in our region, all of whom happen to be women. In the front room until March 22, there’s an exceptionally interesting show called Pattern Recognition that features three mid-career artists whose work takes decorative abstraction as a point of departure for innovative painting and printmaking. Although Julika Lackner’s geometric paintings bear a superficial relationship to mosaic and tile work, sustained attention reveals a sensibility rooted in the alchemy of texture and palette. The large, vertically oriented “Mountain of the Sun 8” from 2020 offers a spiritual vision that’s as uplifting as the chords of a gospel choir.