Madge Gill  (British, 1882-1961) 

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Madge Gill (English, 1882-1961)is an Outsider and Visionary artist born out of wedlock in East Ham, Essex. After being sent to an orphanage at 9 years old, she spent her formative years in isolation before she was sent to a farm in Canada. When she was 19, she moved back to England to live with her aunt, who introduced her to astrology and Spiritualism. With her husband, who was also her cousin, she had four children, although her son succumbed to the Spanish flu and her only daughter was a stillborn. After the death of her only daughter, she suffered a nearly fatal illness that left her blind in one eye. This traumatic experience sparked a lifetime passion for drawing, and for forty years, she feverishly produced a series of mediumistic drawings. Her notorious ink sketches, done in a range of sizes, frequently feature an anonymous and elegant, gazing woman engulfed in intricate, architectural patterns. In her drawings, such as Brown and Blue Girl and Emerald Queen, geometric outlines move inwards towards a floating, blank face. Referred to as a visionary, Gill often produced work in a trance-like state, claiming that a spirit, known as “Myrninerest,” drove her artistic obsession. She often signed her drawings with this handle and refused to sell any of her pieces in fear of angering the spirit. The massive collection of her recognizable work now belongs to the London borough of Newham. Her powerful images have been exhibited at institutions, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Manor Park Museum and the Whitechapel Gallery in London, the Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava, the Halle Saint Pierre in Paris, and the Kunsthalle Schirn in Frankfurt.

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Madge Gill, Untitled (Single Figure on Patterned Background)

 

Madge Gill
Untitled (Single Figure on Patterned Background)
Galerie St. Etienne
Madge Gill, Portrait of a Woman

 

Madge Gill
Portrait of a Woman
Galerie St. Etienne
 
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Madge Gill, Portrait de femme

 

Madge Gill
Portrait de femme
ink on paper

 

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Madge Gill, Female studies (3 works)

 

Madge Gill
Female studies (3 works), 1942
ink

 

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Madge Gill, Untitled/shrouded figure (9 works)

 

Madge Gill
Untitled/shrouded figure (9 works)
pen and black ink and wash

 

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