Hank Pitcher Biography

Dawn from Point Conception, 2003

24 x 36 inches  |  oil on canvas over board

Hank Pitcher's paintings are grounded in a particular sense of place. He was born in Pasadena, California on July 20, 1949, but his family moved to Isla Vista, near Santa Barbara, when he was two years old. When they came to Isla Vista it was an outpost on the beach, and Goleta was a farm town where kids rode their horses down the avenue to buy candy at the store. He was a football star at San Marcos High School and was recruited by big-name universities. Instead of football, he chose to attend the College of Creative Studies, an alternative program within the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) where he now teaches painting. He splits his time between painting and surfing, pursuing each with the commitment and energy of a linebacker.

Videos

3:38 | Narrated by Susan Bush with Hank Pitcher & Frank Goss | Released for Hank Pitcher: Tidal Force, 2011

 

2:47 | Narrated by Jeremy Tessmer | Released for Hank Pitcher: The Long View, 2013

3:13 | Narrated by Jeremy Tessmer | Released for Hank Pitcher: Look Out, 2017

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AN ANALYSIS OF THE ARTIST'S WORK

Hank's paintings represent a forty year search for an authentic vocabulary to describe life in Southern California. The reductive quality of the flattened shapes and unmodulated colors recall the realism of Edward Hopper. Other paintings, however, are as gestural as the Bay Area Figurative paintings of David Park or Paul Wonner. In his iconic surfboard paintings, one can hear the echo of Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans.

Pitcher painted early on with Paul Wonner, another artist struggling to paint representationally in an avant-garde context. Hank came of age as Pop Art, Minimalism, and Land Art were in ascendancy. Representational painting, especially figurative painting, went underground. Hank followed it all the way to Long Island, where he studied with Paul Georges. His mentor was interested in finding a way out of the mannerism of Abstract Expressionism and the aloofness of Pop art.

In every work, Hank endeavors to compose a picture so that it seems "effortless" or even "obvious." Said the artist, "The challenge and the desire was/is to make a genuine, truthful statement." He can paint shapes hardened by the vivid light of the Central Coast or soft painterly areas that suggest natural change or poetic reverie. Over the years, a distinctive style has taken form. You can tell a Pitcher picture from across the room.

 

COLLECTIONS

Santa Barbara Museum of Art
County of Santa Barbara
Syracuse Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York
Northern Trust
Industrial Bank of Japan
Bank of America
Citicorp
Mobil Oil
Gainey Vineyards

 

CHRONOLOGY

1949  Born July 20, 1949, Pasadena, California
1971  Graduated UCSB, College of Creative Studies
1971  Met Paul Georges on Long Island and formed lifelong friendship
1971  Lecturer, UCSB, College of Creative Studies
1980  Traded studios with Gregory Botts of Manhattan & attended Figurative Painters Alliance
1985  Married Susan McKaba September 9
1996  Tenured Professor of Art, UCSB
2003  Publication of SURF, book featuring selected paintings from "little" a solo exibition

EXHIBITIONS

2017  "HANK PITCHER: LOOK OUT", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA.

2013  "HANK PITCHER: THE LONG VIEW", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA.

2013  "Hank Pitcher: A 40 Year Survey", Weigand Gallery, Notre Dame du Namur University, Belmont, California.

2011  "HANK PITCHER: TIDAL FORCE", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA.

2008  "Hank Pitcher: Montecito Beaches 1978-2008", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA.

2007  "Hank Pitcher: Water Gazing", Ventura College, Ventura, CA.

2008  "The West Coast Ten", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA.

2006  "Hank Pitcher: New Paintings", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA.

2005  "Scenes of American Labor", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA.

2005  "Anima Mundi", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA.

2004-2005  "Face to Face: A Selection of American Portraits", Sullivan Goss, Montecito, CA.

2004  "In Search of America: Art of the American Scene", Sullivan Goss, Montecito, CA.

2004  "The Landscape: Old and New, Now and Then", Sullivan Goss, Montecito, CA.

2004  "Not Just a Pretty Vase: A Comprehensive Exhibition of American Still Life", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA.

2003-2004  "8th Annual Small Images Show", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA.

2003  "little", Sullivan Goss, Montecito, CA.

2003  "BIG", Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA.

2002  "Surf Culture", Laguna Beach Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA

2001  Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA

2001  Terrance Rogers Fine Art, Santa Monica, CA

1998-2001  Downey's, Santa Barbara, CA

1996  Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA

1994  Tatistcheff/Rogers Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1992  Tatistcheff Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1991  Cate School, Carpenteria, CA

1989  Tatistcheff Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1987  Jessica Darraby Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1986  Jessica Darraby Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1985  Delphine Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

1982  Meredith Niles Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

1980  Meghan Williams Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1979  Bowdoin Gallery, Bowdoin, ME

1979  Meghan Williams Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1978  New Media Gallery, Ventura College, Ventura, CA

1978  Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA

1977  College of Creative Studies, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

1975  Anapamu Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

1974  Esther Bear Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

1974  Bortolotzo Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

1973  Orlando Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1970  Esther Bear Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

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