boston

Gregory Gillespie

Nielsen Gallery

The 28 meticulously crafted paintings, drawings, and monotypes that comprise Gregory Gillespie’s recent exhibition reveal the artist’s obsession with detail, trompe l’oeil illusionism, and haunting devotional symbolism. The majority of the works, created with oil and alkyd acrylic on board, employ old master techniques to achieve realistic effects. The smooth surfaces and precise contours in pieces such as Godmother Shrine, 1990, Portrait of Itchy, 1988, and Manger Scene, 1987–88, suggest Northern Renaissance painting, while the complexity of imagery and unusual juxtaposition of objects in Landscape with Dancing Shiva, 1989–90, Wheel of Birth, 1990, and Pear and Demons, 1987–88, evoke a kind of New Age surrealism.

In Confirmation Shrine, 1990, Gillespie created a colossal trompe l’oeil altarpiece based on the wall of his studio, plastered with photographs, Xeroxes, other paintings, and

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