Solo Exhibition | Fall Arts Festival, Jackson Hole, WY
Altamira Fine Art is pleased to welcome R. Tom Gilleon for a new show during the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival, opening September 3rd, 2019.
Please join us and meet the artist during the annual Palettes and Palates festival kick-off event, Friday night, September 6, 5-8pm.
According to religious custom, a traditional tipi should face east with the doorway opening toward the sunrise. At daybreak, inhabitants emerge anew, reborn. Befitting the orientation of his distinguishing subject, R. Tom Gilleon takes an analogous approach to painting: “Holding the brush in the morning is the first indicator of who I am that day,” he says. “I try to be present in the inspiration the day brings.”
A practice of presence manifested in masterful color and composure. A practice refined over six decades of creative production, starting as a commercial illustrator with NASA and Disney before embracing his mainstay brush as a fine-art painter. A practice akin to the wonder children bring to their perceptions of the world. “To become a complete artist, you have to go through rigorous academic training and then push yourself to see as you did when you were four years old,” Gilleon says.
In his studio, Gilleon achieves this clarity of consciousness; he recognizes what makes moments profound. Consider his new pair of wolf paintings: their gaze grips the viewer, their eyes piercing and precise. An attitudinal stance seared into his memory of a large black wolf roaming his ranch. “I want you to walk away thinking about those eyes that had you,” he says. To render this impression, Gilleon removes all superfluous details; their fur blurs into patches of tonal contrast; the forest fades into vertical texture. “If you stumble across a wolf, I guarantee you won’t remember the way his hair fell over his paw,” he says. “You walk away thinking about the stare.” In the gallery as in nature, all walk away from his wolves struck by their singular intensity.
No matter the scene or the subject, Gilleon operates at such an intense register, epitomized by his vivid, highly-personalized palette, yet also expressed in subtlety. “Red Sky at Night,” the eponymous painting of his Altamira Fine Art exhibit, explores historical significance in layers: the painted horses encircling the canary tipi echo the faint herd galloping along the horizon, their silhouettes jagging the fuchsia sunset. This doubling rewards those attuned to close observation: “Look past the obvious—the tipi—and pay more attention to the sky and the surroundings,” Gilleon says. “Very few individuals see the hidden elements along the horizon, both in my paintings and in their own lives.”
Red Sky at Night runs from September 3 to 15, with an opportunity to meet the artist Friday night, September 6th, 5-8pm during the Palates and Palettes event.
Pre-sales available. Contact the gallery for more details, [email protected], (307) 739-4700.