Jill Hooper: Contemporary Realist

Portraits have always played a significant role in the art of Charleston, and the Gibbes collection. The very first work of art accessioned into the collection was a portrait of Benjamin Smith by Jeremiah Theus, an important artist working during the mid eighteenth century. Fast forward some 250 years, and the portrait tradition remains very much alive in Charleston, thanks in part to another artist in our collection, Jill Hooper.

This winter, the Gibbes is showcasing Hooper’s extraordinary talent with the solo exhibition Jill Hooper: Contemporary Realist. On view in the Rotunda through April 22, the show includes landscape and still-life paintings, but primarily focuses on portraiture. Each likeness is beautifully painted, and conveys powerful emotion. A number of the paintings are paired with preparatory drawings that reveal Hooper’s working process, and her mastery of charcoal. The drawings are simply breathtaking. Another highlight is the group of five self-portraits included in the exhibition. Painted over a span of eleven years, they shed light on her development as an artist and tackle her own struggles and insecurities. Hooper’s work is honest and full of life and beautifully expresses what it means to be human.

If you want to learn more about Hooper’s work, please join me for a tour of the exhibition on February 16 or March 15 at 2:30pm.

Pam Wall, curator of exhibitions, Gibbes Museum of Art

Related Content

Uncovering the Shared History of the Guggenheim and the Gibbes Museums

After nearly three years of planning, this Saturday Realm of the Spirit: Solomon R. Guggenheim Collection and the Gibbes Museum of Art opens to the public. This long awaited exhibition…


Guggenheim comes to Charleston, Again

It’s easy to understand why my great grandfather, Solomon R. Guggenheim and his wife Irene, were so committed to Charleston and the Lowcountry. Here, Solomon, was able to hunt, fish,…


Up Next: Visiting Artist Stacy Lynn Waddell

Next week the Gibbes welcomes Stacy Lynn Waddell to Charleston as part of our Visiting Artist Program. Stacy is a fascinating artist who employs a wide range of innovative materials…


Gibbes Museum in the News: July 15 – August 19

The Gibbes was featured in a blog post by Gal Meets Glam (UMV: 408,728), a prominent lifestyle and fashion blogger who featured her recent trip to the Charleston on her…