See artworks by icon known for portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Bob Dylan, in new Leeds exhibition

An artist known for his fresh, futuristic images will be celebrated in a Leeds exhibition this month.

Monday, 30th September 2019, 18:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 01:36 am

Works by the last living pioneer of the American Pop Art movement, James Francis Gill, can be seen at Castle Fine Art in the County Arcade until October 31.

Gill was a leading pioneer of Pop Art. His groundbreaking work took many forms, with a style compared to Francis Bacon.

His mix of photographic figurative art combined with abstract compositions had never been seen or done before.

Gill captures the American Dream through intimate portraits of stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Bob Dylan and Grace Kelly. Born in Texas, he studied architecture before moving to Los Angeles in 1962, where he was noticed by art dealer Felix Landau.

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That year, Gill’s now prestigious ‘Marilyn Triptych’ was acquired by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, years before his then peers, including Andy Warhol, graced its walls.

Following a long list of commissions and an international breakthrough at the Sao Paulo 9 Biennial (1967) in Santa Fe alongside Warhol and Lichtenstein, Gill went into self-imposed exile for 25 years from 1972, to develop his art away from the constraints of the material world.

His return to the international art scene generated great excitement.

Roy Pritchard, gallery manager at Castle Fine Art, Leeds, said: “We are incredibly privileged to be unveiling works by James, who is quite remarkably still producing art at the age of 85, at our gallery. James’ art remains as exciting and relevant as ever.”