James Francis Gill is one of the last living American Pop Art artists from the very beginning. He was born in 1934, six years after Andy Warhol, with whom he naturally maintained contact as a young artist and held several exhibitions together.
Since his early “Woman in Cars” paintings from the 1960s, James Francis Gill has been regarded as one of the founders of American Pop Art. Without a fixed association in the sense of a group of artists, James Francis Gill and his American contemporaries Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann, Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg developed a style of art that saw itself as a counter-movement to American abstract expressionism and is now generally referred to as Pop Art.
The gallery owner Felix Landau, who initially represented classical positions with Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele in his gallery in Los Angeles, was partly responsible for James Francis Gill’s stable ranking among the top 20 artists in the USA between 1962 and 1975. Immediately after the death of Marilyn Monroe in August 1962, James Francis Gill painted the triptych Marilyn, which became part of the MOMA collection after just one exhibition in New York in November 1962. Another highlight in the young painter’s career followed in 1967 with the group exhibition of the Who’s Who of American Pop Art artists at the Sao Paulo Bienal.
James Francis Gill went on to enjoy several successful years with major exhibitions. His work graces “life” magazine covers, but his works are less pleasing or popular, some are even very political and critical. He is a regular and equal part of joint exhibitions at MoMA with the other big names of the time such as Picasso, Matisse, Leger etc. in the 60s and 70s.
In 1971, Felix Landau, who had become an iconic art dealer in the USA, closed his galleries in New York and Los Angeles and moved to Europe. James Francis Gill also turned his back on the hype surrounding Pop Art in 1972 and withdrew from the art world.
He dedicates himself to teaching and later to architecture. He paints in private and does not exhibit his work. James Francis Gill’s comeback began at the turn of the millennium with a feature article in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Art Magazine.
A short time later, our friend Ted Bauer is involved in the liquidation of Felix Landau’s estate and learns about James Francis Gill. He succeeds in making contact with the artist and a relationship of trust develops, which leads to Ted Bauer taking over the artist’s management in 2012.
Numerous exhibitions followed worldwide. The new exhibition “The Marilyn Pictures” is now the third appearance in Regensburg. We are very pleased to welcome James Francis Gill on 17.10.23.