Gallery Artists > Gib Singleton Biography :

Gib Singleton (1936 - 2014)  Artworks >>

Gilbert Jerome "Gib" Singleton, one of America's foremost artists and the man who created the genre of "Emotional Realism", passed February 28 at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Singleton's work is held in the collections of the Vatican, Yad Vashem, the Museum of Biblical Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. The first monumental versions of his Fourteen Stations of the Cross were installed at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis in Santa Fe. Singleton served in the US Army as a tank commander, earned a degree in art education from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, then won a full scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago. He earned a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy. In Florence, he helped restore artworks damaged by the Arno floods and was later recruited by the Vatican Workshop, where he helped to restore priceless paintings and sculptures, including Michelangelo's Pieta after it was vandalized in 1972. Gib Singleton was born in Kennett, Missouri in 1935 to a family of sharecroppers. As a child of three, he began to draw with sticks in the dirt and sculpt figures from mud and straw. He won his first blue ribbon for art at the state fair at age nine and was soon selling pencil portraits to friends and neighbors. He became fascinated with bronze as a medium and built his first foundry from scrap when he was 16. After his time in Europe, Singleton headed the sculpture department at Fairfield University, then moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2004 he was committed to hospice with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and told he had only six days to live. He refused to accept that prognosis and though confined to a wheelchair, he worked nearly another decade. During that time he create many of his most noted works, including The Dove, Saint Francis, Lincoln, The Death of Christ, the Fourteen Stations of the Cross, Aces and Eights and his own Requiem. Near the end of his life, Singleton said there were two things he hoped people would remember him for. First was bringing the term "Emotional Realism" into the art world. He believed the feelings a piece of art evokes are just as real as the piece itself or the museum in which it hangs, and that the ability to evoke powerful feelings is the mark of great art. "What matters about art isn't how it looks," he said. "It's how it makes us feel. THAT it makes us feel. That it gets our attention and draws us in and opens us up. And in a world where so much of the stuff going on around us just hurts and makes us numb, that's a damn good thing." Second was helping to bring spiritual art into the mainstream in America. "People need security in the metaphysical world even more than in the physical world," Singleton said. "There are a lot of things that make no 'objective' sense if we try to analyze them. Yet they do make sense - a great deal of sense - if we approach them with our hearts instead of our heads. That's how I try to work." Singleton leaves behind a long list of family and friends, devoted collectors and fans, and spiritual leaders who all came to love not only his amazing art, but also the humble cowboy who created such powerful pieces. Source

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