THE WEST COAST TEN
Exhibits in our Cooper Gallery
May 1, 2008 through June 29, 2008
To download the catalog for this show, click here.
Please note that while this file has been optimized for download on the web, it is still 532KB.
On a dial-up connection, download might be as long as 2 minutes.
To view this document, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 (or a more current version).
If you do not believe you have this software, you can download it here.
THURSDAY, MAY 1
FROM 5 - 7:30PM
7 EAST ANAPAMU STREET, SANTA BARBARA, CA
A Few Words About This Exhibit
Realism is the focus of two exhibits at Sullivan
Goss: the current West Coast TEN and the upcoming
East Coast TEN in September. The first exhibition takes
a close look at TEN contemporary realists who make their
home on the West Coast. The seeds of today’s realism
were planted back in the 1960s with the photorealist
work of Robert Bechtle, Paul Wonner, and Ralph Goings.
The realist movement today is populated with many of
the most important artists working in America.
By dividing painters according to their coastal
habitats, Sullivan Goss offers an opportunity to observe
the effects of Western light vs. Eastern light, West Coast
“real” vs. East Coast “real,” Right Coast sensibility vs.
Left Coast reverie. Back East vs. Out West. Are we
one continent separated by a common language? Is the
vocabulary of Bechtle separate from the elements of a
Wyeth? The TEN in this exhibition record people, places,
and objects of the West.
Time is a topic for each of the TEN. It is cloaked,
it is stretched, it is frozen. Robert Bechtle, the senior
member of this cast of TEN, records cars as a still life, then
cloaks them, as if to further preserve an already frozen
moment. Robert Townsend, one of the younger painters
in the exhibit, forges a panoramic still life, Flavors You
Can’t Forget, forcing the viewer to retrace the footsteps
of time in a sequence of bottle caps. The tipped crystal
vase in Eric Wert’s Spider Mum depicts time suspended,
frozen - all memory reduced to a simple second.
The TEN also explore a time honored Western
theme familiar to all who travel the open land - loneliness,
the big scape shrouded in the still of quiet. David Ligare’s
monumental Seascape is wide open, a seemingly endless
panorama, without ship, without people, lacking even
a simple shore bird. John Nava paints a lone woman
walking open palmed from the sea, an obvious reference
to the classical Venus - alone. As if taking a page from
Bechtle’s book, Drew Goings Gulf (Wrapped) portrays a
famous Western sign, a Gulf Gas Station sign, abandoned
and wrapped – the detritus of the modern West.
These painters often portray the aftermath
of action, and in the timeline of art they are the more
peaceful aftermath of abstract expressionism that
dominated the decade before photorealism. The TEN
communicate human life and common objects without
the expressionist’s noise of aggressive brush strokes. In
the solidarity of fine technique, they gain clarity and an
aching simplicity. The TEN do not shirk from a world of
sharp, perceptive focus.
- Susan Bush, Director of Contemporary Art
Artists Included in the Exhibtion
Robert Bechtle | Drew Goings | David Ligare | Dan McCleary | Jack Mendenhall | John Nava | Hank Pitcher | Michael Tompkins | Robert Townsend | Eric Wert
Blog About This Exhibition
To comment about this exhibition or to read other people's comments about this exhibition, click here.