Jane Gilmor is known for her extensive body of work engaging with social and cultural issues. She began exhibiting internationally in 1976 and A.I.R. Gallery, NYC, published her monograph, Jane Gilmor: I’ll Be Back for The Cat, by Joy Sperling in 2012. One of five artists nationally, Gilmor received a 2011 Tanne Foundation Award and was Miller Endowed Scholar, Center for Advanced Studies at University of Illinois, Champaign in 2017. She is currently collaborating with Portuguese artists Antonio and Paula Pinto on Shifting Ground a project with Central African immigrants in Iowa and Portugal. In 2022 the Figge Museum of Art organized a solo exhibition, Breakfast on Pluto, and community-based project Pandemic Planet, focusing of issues related to the isolation and lasting effects of the pandemic and current geo-political climate.
Gilmor has received NEA Fellowships, a McKnight Interdisciplinary Fellowship, and residencies in Ireland, Italy, London, The McDowell Colony, The Banff Center in Canada, and The Bemis. In 2003 she was a Fulbright Scholar at Evora University, Portugal.
Her work is reviewed in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The New Art Examiner, Cabinet and included in such pivotal books as Lucy Lippard’s OVERLAY: Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory, 1983; Broude and Gerrard’s The Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970s, Abrams, 1993; and Pioneer Feminists: Women Who Changed America, 1963-1976, B. Love, U of Ill. Press, 2006.
She has exhibited at the Kochi-Murziris Biennale, 2018; Pirogi, Brooklyn; Chicago Cultural Center; Platforma Revolver, Lisbon; The Des Moines Art Center; PS 1 , Queens; The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha;The Renwick Gallery of The Smithsonian, D.C.; and the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, NYC, among many. Solo shows include The Architecture of Migration, Long Island University, Brooklyn, and Blind, A.I.R., New York.
Gilmor studied at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, Iowa State University, and has an MFA from The University of Iowa. She is Emeritus Professor of Art at Mount Mercy University and is affiliated with A.I.R Gallery, NYC and Olson-Larsen Galleries in Des Moines. She maintains a studio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Read a review of Joy Sperling’s monograph Jane Gilmor:I’ll Be Back for The Cat.
The electricity is still on. Yes, there must be life! But things seem to be slowly falling apart…
It is difficult to know if my recent concoctions are ruins or works in progress. Juxtaposing found notes embossed on metal foil with collected objects and repurposed materials, all activated by video, movement, and light, I create installations and sculptures that explore isolation, dislocation and border crossings: presence/absence, public/private, poverty/privilege, male/female. In these layered worlds of chance encounters between words, objects and materiality, I look for those absurd slippages and jumbles of object, language and place through which we locate our own identity.
For the past thirty years, then, my practice has been concerned with social issues, found situations, and psychological narrative. From The 1976 All-American Glamour Kitty Pageant, to my 70’s and 80’s photo tableaux of cat-masked Isadora Duncans in the ruins of Greece and the bowling alleys and Laundromats of Iowa, to my twenty years of community-based public work in shelters and hospitals–my search is for some unspoken connection in these random collisions of objects, images, and voices.