Local artist Hank Pitcher recently moved to a new studio so spacious that it allows him to step back 20 feet from a canvas in progress. In his new studio on a bluff overlooking the Pacific, the canvases have gotten larger, creating new challenges in composition and perspective. His first mural painting from his new studio, as well as a curated selection of small and medium format paintings of the forces and forms of life in Central California are on view at Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery (7 E. Anapamu St.) through February 2.
“The title of this exhibition refers to the horizontal format,” says Pitcher. One of these paintings is 17 feet wide. It is peripheral but also involves space near and far away. I think this comes partially from growing up surfing alone or with just a few other people in the water. I needed and wanted to be aware of what was going on around me.”
Recording the most elemental issues of life in Southern and Central California for over 40 years has imbued Pitcher’s life’s work with a depth not often seen. “Andrew Wyeth studied the people and landscape of the Brandywine valley for decades. Georgia O’Keeffe painted the landscape and icons around Abiquiu, New Mexico for decades, too. Hank’s project belongs to their lineage. His painting is as grounded in real life in California as it is in the grand tradition of American painting,” says a Sullivan Goss statement.
Pitcher notes, “These are views that I have been looking at for a long time, and return to again and again. I have been making paintings of twoof the views in this exhibition since the Eisenhower Administration. I think these paintings also end up being about time and timelessness. The longer I look at something the more it becomes about what it is than what it was or will be.”