OPENING RECEPTION: 1st THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1st, 2024 | FROM 5-8pm
Sullivan Goss is excited to announce the gallery’s second solo exhibition for WHITNEY BROOKS ABBOTT and the first solo show of the new year. This new body of work marks the artist’s first show with the gallery in five years.
Whitney’s first solo show with the gallery debuted immediately following the Thomas fire of 2017 and the subsequent devastating debris flow in the early days of 2018. Then came the pandemic in 2020, and there wasn’t a lot of space for painting. But in the last two years, Whitney has carved out the time to steadily create a new body of work that focuses on the everyday sights around her home and the beloved views of the central coast she has been painting for decades. In this bright new year of 2024, we are excited to have her introspective and yet expansive paintings on the gallery walls.
While Whitney’s new paintings rediscover the coast she is known for, they also explore the agricultural shift and progression of the Carpinteria valley that is her home. As a descendent (and active member) of a family that has been farming the area for over 100 years, Whitney’s painted records of the current farming trends are relevant. In recent years, the area has shifted from avocados and orchids to a focus on cannabis production. Down the lane from Whitney's house, greenhouses lie fallow and deteriorating due to this shift. They do, however, make excellent subjects for paintings as they morph and change with the seasons, a quiet and staid subject. Whitney has always painted rusting farming equipment and trucks, so the abandoned greenhouses fit in with her focus on farming tools in different states of use. Whitney is still, however, a hands-on mother and as she said, “I follow the kids around” to their different activities and paint where they are. The auditorium at Santa Barbara High School shows up in these paintings where one of her children has drama classes. Garden Street Academy shows up as well, the old Seminary turned educational building.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
WHITNEY BROOKS ABBOTT is a fine arts graduate of UC Santa Cruz. She also completed a fellowship at Yale School of Art in Norfolk, CT. Whitney is a second generation member of the Oak Group based in Santa Barbara since 1986. Whitney is known for her interior paintings of patterned light and color, most of the spaces being in her home, because that’s where she spends the bulk of her time, with peeks outside the windows to the farmland beyond. She currently lives in Carpinteria, CA and is part of the Brooks and Abbott families that have farmed the area for many generations.
Driving through the Carpinteria Valley to meet esteemed painter Whitney Brooks Abbott, I notice the abandoned greenhouses on the roadside near her house. They stand there in a ghostly manner, both worn out and defiant, surrounded by the beauty of the natural landscape. Not surprisingly, when I walk in Whitney’s studio, I see “Field Notes,” the main work of her first solo show at Sullivan Goss in five years — a painting of the greenhouses.