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Gonzaga Artist Robert Gilmore Breathes Life into Each Painting; View Exclusive Video

Robert Gilmore (Contemporary American) Bye Bye Blackbird, 2010 Oil on Canvas, 17-by-20-inches.

By Tara Schmidt (’12)
Robert Gilmore says he tries to breathe life into each of his paintings. After that, he says, “they are on their own. They have to tell their own stories.” Gilmore’s upcoming exhibition, “Lost Horizons: The Paintings of Robert Gilmore,” opens in the Jundt Galleries on Friday (Oct. 22), with a free public preview reception at 6 p.m., Thursday (Oct. 21).

This major show of oil paintings by Gonzaga’s longtime painting professor will be on display through Dec. 11.

“If you want to know about me, then go to my art show,” said Gilmore, whose works in this exhibition are his most recent.

Gilmore’s brush marries the traditional and modern in lush surfaces and rhythmic compositions. Subjects are derived from forms and visual ideas he finds within the landscape. Not the familiar landscapes of the Hudson River School movement, but interior landscapes suggesting a horizon, a sunset, a cave or cavern. Says Gilmore, “I’ve been searching for something. These paintings go to the deepest part of me.”

Gilmore has dedicated most of his life to teaching and painting and has produced hundreds of paintings that have been collected across the country. His artistic career began at the Boston University School of Fine Arts where he graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1964. Gilmore earned a scholarship to Yale/Norfolk Summer School in 1963, and studied with faculty there as well.

Among Gilmore’s influences are Walter Murch, Reed Kay, David Aronson, Gabor Peterdi, and Reginald Pollock.  His teaching career began at Fort Wright College of the Holy Names in Spokane in 1964 and continues today at Gonzaga where he is The Kreielsheimer Professor of Art. Gilmore’s own education and teaching, founded on traditional approaches to painting, were inspired nonetheless by the great modernists like Jackson Pollock, Philip Guston, and William DeKooning, and other abstract expressionists, including Northwest painters Mark Tobey and Mark Rothko.

Click the video below to hear Professor Gilmore discuss his art and artistic process.

YouTube Preview Image

“Robert Lloyd: How Do You See China?” an exhibition of 16 digital photographs from Lloyd’s trip to China in 2008, continues in the Arcade Gallery through Nov 13.

The museum’s exhibitions are free and open to the public from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and noon-4 p.m. on Saturdays; closed Sundays and school holidays. For more information, please contact Karen Kaiser, assistant curator for education, at (509) 313-6613 or via e-mail.

  1. Posted October 19, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Bob, I was a young nun studying at Fort Wright College 1968-70 and remember seeing your work and hearing about you from my good friend, Mary Patterson! (also a nun, we went to high school together.)

    Now the convent is long behind me and my son is at Gonzaga and I just listened to you talk about painting on the website video. I’ll be sure and visit your exhibit when i am in town this weekend!

    My friends, Barb and Terrie, and I hung out with the dance and drama crowd but my younger brother married Lori, Marilyn’s daughter. Marilyn taught in the art department. Lori and my brother eventually divorced amicably and still keep in touch.

    It’s a small world. I loved the “Fort!”