Painter Paul Pratchenko is finally finished with school. After 40-plus years of teaching—including the last few decades at San Francisco State University—the 67-year-old professor retired this December. Lately, he’s been busy doing “some pretty heavy construction stuff” on his home in Black Point, a small town near Sonoma. “When I finished that, I threw my back out,” he said. Don’t bother suggesting, however, that he paint in a supine position; he says it’s “too Matisse-y.”
The point is that Pratchenko isn’t taking retirement lying on his back. His February exhibition at B. Sakata Garo includes landscapes, figurative and fantasy-like scenes. “I don’t work in series,” he explained. “One of the problems I have with my work is that people often want a logical explanation for what is basically an illogical grouping of images.” He likes the idea that art is able to create mysteries and doesn’t hesitate to take opportunities to do so.