JAMES FRANCIS GILL - SHORT BIOGRAPHY
James Francis Gill was born 1934 in Tahoka, Texas. Even before high school, he found his fascination for art by making model sketches for his mother, who worked as an interior designer.
1953 he became a member of the Marines. Here again, his passion for art kept him in suspense, as he painted murals in a hospital in Honolulu. For the first time, he came into contact with the design of sculptures.
From 1956 he worked in Midland, TX and Odessa, TX in an architectural office. During this time he also worked with Bruce Goff, one of the most influential architects of the 20th century. His encounter with Goff had a decisive influence on Gill's art, as he was a passionate collector of works by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.
1961 and 1962 Gill studied painting at the University of Texas, Austin on a painting scholarship. As a young artist he moved to Los Angeles, where he met his first gallerist Felix Landau in 1962. Felix Landau was one of the most respected art dealers of his time. He recognized in Gill's works influences of Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Francis Bacon, with which he was dealing at that time.
In December 1962 Landau organized a first one-man show for Gill in New York. This led to the acquisition of two works by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) - "Marilyn Triptych", 1962 and "Woman in Striped Dress", 1962, which shows a woman getting out of a automobile. Gill's works were regularly shown at MoMA in the mid-1960s with works by Edward Hopper, Robert Rauschenberg, Pablo Picasso, Heinz Mack, Alexander Calder, Ernst-Ludwig Kirchner, Claes Oldenburg, Jasper Johns and others. Museums such as the Whitney, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Foundation Ludwig also included Gill in their collections.
1966, Gill was asked by the Navy to take part in the "Art Cooperation and Liaison" program, which recorded significant contemporary Events for the public. For this he was invited aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Enterprise. His artwork is still in the collection of the National Museum of the US Navy. 1967 Gill was shown at the São Paulo 9 Biennale as an official participant of the USA together with Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Indiana and Tom Wesselmann.
1968 the TIME Magazine commissioned Gill to design the cover page. Hollywood stars such as John Wayne, Tony Curtis, Dennis Hopper and Richard Chamberlain were portrayed by him or collected his art. Large national corporations such as the Mead Corporation and Time-Life bought his paintings for their collections.
1969, Gill taught at the University of California, Irvine, CA. Already in 1965 he taught at the University of Idaho, Moscow, ID. 1970, he also became a visiting professor at the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR.
1972 Gill left Los Angeles. He wanted to create a clear distance between him and fame and glamour. At the time he laid the foundation for his brilliant late work which he did not present to the public until the end of the 90s. During this time he worked mainly as an architect.
1997 the art historian David McCarthy wrote an article about Gill for the art magazine of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. This interview was the initial impulse for Gill's return to the art market.
2005 a big retrospective of his work took place at the Museum of Fine Arts in his current hometown of San Angelo, TX. Further museum exhibitions also followed.
2012 Ted Bauer becomes Gill's manager with Premium Modern Art. He organizes gallery and museum exhibitions and thus succeeds Felix Landau.
2019 a series of exhibitions in Great Britain took place, entitled "The Return of James Francis Gill", in Glasgow, London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Chester and Bath.
2020 the Collector's Edition is published, a new series of serigraphs, based on his works from the early 60s.