Gregory Gillespie @ Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects

Gregory Gillespie, Self Portrait with Paisley Shirt, 1999-2000, oil on panel, 15
Gregory Gillespie, Self Portrait with Paisley Shirt, 1999-2000, oil on panel, 15 x 9 3/4 inches (courtesy of Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects)

Thomas Micchelli reviews Gregory Gillespie: rorschaching at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York, on view through November 15, 2015.

Micchelli writes: "Dispensing entirely with modernist emotional distancing, Gillespie’s most effective works go well beyond a mere horror of the flesh; in his own private netherworld, any act of intimacy — incarnated in his sensual, exacting brushstrokes — is a step into the abyss... Perhaps the most disturbing paintings in the show are the ones that relinquish multifarious imagery and instead present the artist in unadorned self-portraits...That these two grinning portraits ... were completed the year he took his own life lends them an almost unbearably melancholy edge. The disjunction between their apparently willful good cheer and the descent that followed would seem to embody Gillespie’s professed themes of 'insanity, chaos, weirdness,' compounded by compositions that feel deliberately ungainly, unvarnished and disconcertingly real."