SELF PORTRAIT, 1969, oil and temera, 11×16
“Since his first one-person exhibition, at Forum Gallery in 1966, Gregory Gillespie has been recognized as one of America’s most important and interesting contemporary artists. Defying categorization, Gillespie has painted memorable self-portraits, haunting fantasy landscapes, symbolic geometric abstractions and monumental dimensional paintings unlike any others.
Gregory Gillespie emerged from the wake of the New York School avant-garde scene of the 1950’s, rebelling against the ascendancy of the non-representational. Gillespie painted in the tradition of the Italian and Flemish masters, Masaccio and Carlo Crivelli, working in exorbitant, realistic detail, often trompe-loeil. His later work evolved into more experimental assemblages. Gillespie was an introspective artist, delving deep into the richness of his own psyche and documenting its interactions with a strange and overwhelming outside world.
At the young age of 41, Gillespie was the subject of a major retrospective at the Hirshhorn Museum at the Smithsonian, a museum that would eventually own 14 of his paintings. Moving against a prevailing artistic climate that championed the abstract, he became known for meticulously painted figurative paintings, landscapes, and self portraits, His work often had a fantastical element, infusing the mundane with a complex and often contradictory spirituality. As Gillespie’s oeuvre continued to develop, his style became more diverse and he experimented with varied media, incorporating objects and photographs into his paintings.
The images have been rendered in almost microscopic detail. The individual hairs on Gillespie’s bare arms and legs, a reddish pimple on his calf, faint blue veins on his ankle have been faithfully represented as if the artist wished to push to its utmost the ability of the painted surface to stand for reality. And yet despite Gillespie’s obvious skill, it never seems that he is simply showing off.
“His aim is always to use his gifts in the interest of the painting, not as a tour de force,” says Stebbins. “There are always emotional, psychological, and physical layers to his work. He struggled with these paintings, scraping and sanding them down, then painting them over again. Nothing came easily.”
Gregory Gillespie’s paintings are included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), the Georgia Museum of Art (Athens), the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond), the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art and the Wichita Art Museum. In 1994, Gregory Gillespie received the Augustus St. Gaudens Award from Cooper Union in New York. He lived in Massachusetts until his death in April, 2000.”
ROMAN LANDSCAPE, (Periphery), 1969, oil and tempera, 18×30
I think I may have picked this book up at the Hirshhorn Museum sometime in the 70’s. Since his stuff is so rare to see I’m glad I still have it. He is one of my favorite painters and if you ever get to see one of his real paintings you’ll see why.
Self Portrait, 1975 / Oil and magna on panel, 30 1/4 x 24 3/4 / Virginia Museum of Fine Arts / The Sydney and Francis Lewis Collections
Got this from web, date unknown?