Gregory Gillespie: Paintings

New York, NY – From February 25 to May 1, 2010, Forum Gallery marks its fiftieth anniversary year by presenting an exhibition of paintings by the artist Gregory Gillespie (1936-2000), whom Forum represented from his first New York exhibition in 1966 until his untimely death, a suicide, in 2000. Gillespie, a unique and visionary artist, was never a part of any movement or school; in his work, he defied characterization. In large and small panel paintings and mixed media works, he constructed elaborately detailed fantasy landscapes, imaginary personal narratives, startling and memorable self-portraits, symbolist abstractions and trompe l’oeil still lifes throughout his career, moving back and forth among these stylistic choices with unpredictable frequency, unerring technique and uncanny brilliance.

Born in 1936, Gregory Gillespie completed his schooling at The Cooper Union (New York) and the San Francisco Art Institute in 1962. He was awarded a Fulbright-Hayes Grant and a Chester Dale fellowship, enabling him to work in Italy at the American Academy in Rome until 1970. The paintings he created there were first exhibited at Forum Gallery, in 1966, and brought the Artist to the immediate attention of the New York art establishment. Among Gillespie’s early admirers were the collector Joseph H. Hirshhorn and his curator Abram Lerner, who would become the first Director of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington. The Museum’s presentation of a retrospective exhibition of Gregory Gillespie’s work in 1977, when the Artist was only forty years old, catapulted him into enduring National prominence.

Forum Gallery’s 2010 exhibition will include paintings from each of the four decades of Gregory Gillespie’s career, acquired from private collections. Many of the works have been in the same collections since their original acquisition. Five major paintings to be exhibited were included in the exhibition, Gregory Gillespie: A Unique American Vision, organized in 1999 by the Georgia Museum of Art, which was presented by four museums including the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.

Featured works in the exhibition include Manikin Piece, an iconic 1980 still life painting formerly in the collection of Sidney and Frances Lewis; the possibly autobiographical homage, Painter in Bedroom, 1994, from a prominent New England collection; and Gillespie’s earliest known major work, Provocation, c. 1962.

Paintings by Gregory Gillespie are included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington; National Gallery of Art, Washington; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Georgia Museum of Art at Athens; Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock; and many others.

Forum Gallery, established in 1961, was the first and only New York gallery to exhibit Gregory Gillespie’s work during his lifetime. The 2010 exhibition will be the nineteenth one-person exhibition for Gregory Gillespie at Forum Gallery; catalogues and similar publications of Gregory Gillespie’s work are available at the gallery or on the website.

For further information, please contact the gallery.

Location: New York 4th Floor