New York

Gregory Gillespie

Forum Gallery

Do you think that during the 15th century art critics went around saying, “He was born 15 years too early”? I don’t either. But there are painters today who, if they were just starting to do now what they were doing 15 years ago, would be riding high on the fame bandwagon.

Gregory Gillespie is famous but he is grossly under-famous. That’s what happens when you go so much against the grain. Then again, the grain has a way of catching up, especially to talents that ignore it completely and hang in there.

Gillespie had many things on display here, in different media and different modes. I am particularly in love with his funky-Renaissance-maestro mode, exemplified by Myself Painting a Self-Portrait, 1980–81. This is a great painting of flesh—the blue veins under white forearm skin are startlingly real, and the realism is accentuated by the trompe l’oeil splatter of aqua paint on the skin’s

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