Paintings offer respite in chaotic world
With the country battered by the pandemic, a hotly contested election, the nation’s capitol invaded by rioters and an atmosphere marked by dread and hysteria, curators at Sullivan Goss-An American Gallery in downtown Santa Barbara felt this community could use a space for peace and contemplation.
Drawing from its artists’ studios, collector consignments and its own treasure vault, the gallery staff has assembled 16 works spanning from 1890 to today that invite a meditative or peaceful state of mind.
The exhibition is open for socially distant viewing through March 1. Gallery visits are limited to eight mask-wearing guests at a time. The exhibit is also available online.
The works range from late 19th- and early 20th-century impressionist paintings by Leon Dabo (1864-1960), Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932), and Colin Campbell Cooper to mid-century and contemporary abstractions by William Dole (1917-1983) and Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967) to abstract works by gallery stalwarts like Whitney Brooks Abbott, Meredith Brooks Abbott, Ken Bortolazzo, Susan McDonnell, Chris Peters, Nicole Strasburg and Sarah Vedder.
“Art can be an effective emotional trigger. High contrast works with bright, hyper-saturated colors and dynamic compositions can excite us — stimulating increased energy and mental activity. Paintings and drawings that use a more restrained and harmonized palette or whose imagery and compositions invoke the pastoral or the dreamy have the opposite effect. They calm us. They soothe,” said Mr. Tessmer.