More about Gigi Mills

Elizabeth Cook-Romero, writing for the Pasatiempo, notes that “Gigi Mills paints a world in flux.  Like the kaleidoscopic and fleeting manifestations of nature, every color and texture in Mills’ paintings seems as if it could change in the blink of an eye.”  Gigi’s recent sketches, collages, and paintings on panel do bear witness to an intuitive immediacy in media.  Thin paint, visible brushstrokes, sgraffito (scratched) lines, drawn marks, and collaged papers create a textural surface that clearly records the artist’s last touch and gesture.   Like the work of Milton Avery, Gigi abstracts space and forms to merely reference the physical world.  Her beaches, seasides, and interiors are placed in an impossible mixture of points of view, resulting in truly imaginary spaces.  An attention to flat geometric shapes, a rarity of detail, and a tendency to define her figures as silhouettes lends anonymity to her subjects.  Gigi observes, “The reduction of forms to a simplified elegance is essential to my paintings.  A successful piece should have the psychological and aesthetic weight to hold the viewer, to entice them to keep coming back to it.  It’s my goal with each painting to create extraordinary beauty with the ballast of emotional complexity.”
Working in series allows Gigi to tell a larger story amongst a group of related paintings.  The “Procession Series” seems to have subtly spawned from her personal history of being raised within the Mills Brothers’ Circus.  Burdened animals and clowns occupy a non-space en route to nowhere and conjure up the bittersweet quality of Samuel Beckett’s poetry and plays that Gigi enjoys.  Elements from previous series, such as Gigi’s museum interiors, drying laundry, reclining figures, Southern women, and still-lives featuring musical instruments and fruit, often reemerge.  In sketchbook pages and complex collages and paintings on bookboard, Gigi’s various series have begun to mingle.
Gigi has a BFA in Theatre from the College of Santa Fe, NM and an MA in Choreography from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.  Her training results in an awareness of gesture and performance.  Interestingly, many of her paintings present themselves as stage sets, where the figures and interiors are conspicuously on display.  With all of their grace or awkwardness they face and confront the viewer.  Gigi Mills has exhibited throughout the US, Italy, France and in China, where she was a visiting artist in Zhangjiajie in 2009.