Press Release

Sullivan Goss is proud to present an exhibition of new paintings by one of California’s most beloved and recognizable artists, Meredith Brooks Abbott.

True to her quote, Meredith paints almost every day. Her children and grandchildren may be a welcome and joyous diversion, but she continues to carve out time to make paintings just the same. The farm she and her husband live on requires its share of labor, too, but it does not keep her from her easel either. A day that she doesn’t paint doesn’t count.

She paints what is around her, both indoors and out. Flame red aloe, white lilies, the faded blue paint of a tractor: these are the colors of life on the Abbott farm. A Chinese vase that has been in her family for decades takes its place next to persimmons fresh from her garden. Vistas of valleys filled with ceanothus are a short distance away beyond the hills and trails walked by the Brooks and Abbott families since the early days of the twentieth century. Her legions of collectors will recognize the Matilija poppies from her back garden or one of the cloths from the family dining table, used repeatedly in her still life paintings because of their intriguing patterns. Each image, in its way, speaks to Meredith’s deep roots here in the community.

Abbott’s Impressionist style descends through the French tradition to the California tradition, which she learned from artists like Douglass Parshall (1899­1990) and Clarence Hinkle (1880­1960). Enraptured by new color theories and liberated from the conventions of their day, the earliest Impressionists painted the most fleeting sensations of light. It was as if they could sense that the world was speeding up – that to make a painting that lingers on the sensation of a moment was to offer the luxury of an earlier time. Today, such sentiments seem more timely than ever.

Video

2:50 | Susan Bush

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