William “Bill” Kirsch

William W. Kirsch

Bill Kirsch is a Sausalito eclectic abstract painter an Architect and one of the founders of the modern Sausalito Art Festival. He designed, coordinated and organized the festival in 1965 and 1966 with artists Al Garvey and Michael Bry.
Bill’s work is “visually exciting and provocative, he does marvelous things with colors and his paintings exhibit thought, control and personal attention to detail”.. Subtly delineated nudes float through rich, and at times vaporous, colors while a recurring theme of figures diffused into space lend a sensuousness and mystery to his work”.

He was drawing and painting with pastels and water colors at young age and became passionate about painting with oils at the University of Cincinnati. While he was in the Marines stationed in Japan, Okinawa and the Philippines his drawings came alive. He travelled extensively and drew the people he saw, the ambiance of his surroundings and people he met in the bars and geisha houses.

In addition to painting and raising a family Bill has been working full time as an architect since 1958. He designed over 400 structures that include art galleries, custom and market homes, ranches, restaurants, floating homes, bed & breakfasts and commercial buildings. Many of his projects have won awards and been published in more than 30 books, magazines and newspapers as well as featured in two films.

Bill recently semi retired from architecture and now has more time to devote to his painting. He is currently living on a houseboat in Sausalito and in addition to living on the water he recently completed a floating studio where he paints.
The change in lifestyle has given him the time to organize his vast body of work and limited edition, museum quality, signed, giclee prints are now available for purchase in addition to his original work.

His body of work expresses his wide variety of interests, mediums and styles. His paintings have been exhibited in galleries and private collections throughout the United States.

Artist’s Statement

I paint and draw in a variety of mediums including watercolor and oils. My large oil paintings are abstractions of the real world, containing symbolic and figurative references. I work from my subconscious and often begin a painting by cleaning my palette then layering in new vibrant colors on the canvas. The surfaces are worked, textured, and layered until figures and worlds emerge.

My work is allegorical and reflects a taste of nonsense, chaos, madness and dreams. With a layer of alpha and an occasional theta wave thrown in, every painting has a frequency of its own – colorful vibrations are visible, usable, soft, natural and giving off prana.

I am inspired by the natural world around me, the human form, the light on water outside my studio and the work of other artists; Gorky, Nolde, Chagall, de Kooning, Matisse and Gauguin.

I have spent my life as an architect and in my painting I combine realistic and imaginary elements. I find that I can marry my desire to give form with my love of drawing. Although I paint from the subconscious finding appealing images and composition mostly by accident is exciting. A breakthrough in my painting occurs when it switches from what I am looking for to what I have found.

Bill Kirsch, Sausalito, 2010

Background and Training

B.S. Architecture, University of Cincinnati, Ohio
Academic training college art classes
in connection with architectural curriculum.

Exhibitions and Festivals

Museum of Modern Arts, Paris
Allied Arts Guild, New York
Knickerbocker Artists, New York
Pacific Festival, San Francisco, CA
Ed Lesser Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Laas – George Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Corwith Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Ruthermore Galleries, San Francisco, CA
Hardman & Kopp, San Francisco, Ca
Parks Gallery, San Jose, CA
Harry Z Lawrence Gallery, Dallas, Texas
Sausalito Art Festival, Sausalito, CA
Horizons Gallery, Sausalito, CA
Mill Valley Art Festival, Mill Valley, CA
Walnut Creek Arts Pageant, Walnut Creek, CA
Marin County Art & Garden Show, Ross, CA
Studio Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
Brill Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio

Awards, Honors, Commissions
Sausalito Art Festival, 1st Place Award, 3 years, 1960, 1961 & 1962
Sausalito Arts Commission
Designed Sausalito Art Festival with Al Garvey and Michael Bry, 1965, 1966
Carson Perrie Scott International Architectural Competition, Chicago
Golden Gateway International Architectural Competition, San Francisco
Sunset Magazine, Architectural Western Home Award
Environmental Enrichment Award, Santa Rosa, CA

My Website