Now Rhymes with Then: Works by Paul Gillis
July 13 - September 23, 2018
When Kingship Ascends to Heaven, 2018, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches
RULE Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Paul Gillis entitled Now Rhymes With Then. Colorado based artist Paul Gillis has spent his career contemplating and commenting on the cyclic nature of the human experience. Using anthropomorphic figures and culturally iconic imagery he creates complex and surreal narrative works that explore these ideas. Influenced by the Chicago Imagists movement, as well as the style of many underground comics of the 60’s and 70’s, his art has the feel of a comic book panel or the cell of an animated movie, inviting the viewer to build a storyline around each scene presented. Here, in the early 21st century, Gillis has watched the events and trends of our times as they echo similar periods throughout the past. In recognizing this re-enactment, he is drawn to a quote from Mark Twain, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes”. In his exhibition, Now Rhymes With Then, Gillis has developed a body of work with the same sense of familiarity and progression; pieces have similar subjects, motifs and content that appears to be telling the same tale. In actuality, they reveal how the ages of civilization and the stories we communicate are all expressions of our fundamental realization that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Paul Gillis was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1941 and was raised in Los Angeles, CA. After spending several years in the Air Force, he moved to Colorado in 1967 and received his BFA in painting from University of Colorado Denver in 1970 and his MFA in painting from the University of Colorado Boulder in 1976. In the 1960’s and 70’s he became associated with a group of significant Colorado artists working in Boulder who founded the counter-cultural movements of Drop City and Criss-Cross. In 1979, Gillis, along with several others, founded SPARK Gallery, one of the first artists’ co-operative galleries in Colorado, This gallery is still active today, making it one of the longest running cooperatives in the Western United States. Gillis’s work has been displayed in numerous solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums including the Denver Art Museum, Boulder Center for the Visual Arts, Museum of Contemporary Arts Denver, and the Singer Gallery, Denver. His work has also shown in Santa Fe, NM; Austin, TX; San Francisco, CA and San Diego, CA.
204 E San Antonio St