Gregory Gillespie

From our review of Gregory Gillespie at Gallery Naga in Boston:

The late Massachusetts painter Gregory Gillespie was one of those outliers that the art world never knows what to do with. He took up realism at the height of Abstract Expressionism, but a realism so charged with psychological intensity, personal symbolism and hallucinatory weirdness that to call it realism didn’t fit quite right either.

His 1996-99 oil painting “Lady with Skull Necklace” (pictured above) in the exhibit “Transfixed: Selected Works 1995 – 2000” at Gallery Naga shows what he was up to. It’s a head-on portrait of a woman with her skin precisely rendered via lots of little red brushstrokes against a vivid green background, recalling the backgrounds of the German Renaissance master Hans Holbein the Younger. But this painting vibrates with the feeling that something’s not right—maybe it’s because her shoulders seem too big for her head, or that her skin seems to crawl, or that she appraises us with a cool, reptilian, alien stare.

Read the rest here.

Gregory Gillespie, “Transfixed: Selected Works 1995 – 2000,” Gallery Naga, 67 Newbury St., Boston, Nov. 9 to Dec. 15, 2012.

Pictured at top: Gregory Gillespie, detail of “Lady with Skull Necklace,” 1996-1999.

Gregory Gillespie, “Self Portrait with Yellow Background,” 1998-1999

Gregory Gillespie, “Manger Scene,” 1999.

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