Aaron Gilbert is a painter whose work depicts symbolic and psychological narratives. Gilbert’s work focuses on the transformative potential of individuals and love as a transcending force amidst personal loss, and societal crisis.
His pictorial style draws formally from early Italian (trecento and quattrocento) painting, Mexican Retablos, and multiple traditions of miniature painting. The architecture is often stylized to emphasize ways that public and institutional space enforces ideology, and sets boundaries to how figures within the paintings have agency. In many paintings, the work may focus on a scene from a private or individual life, but simultaneously invoke the presence of institutional forces. Aaron was a father before becoming an artist, and his ethnicity is mixed White and Latino and his work often examines how external historical forces impact private and intimate interactions, and exert an influence that goes beyond the intentions of the figures themselves.
Gilbert has exhibited at PPOW Gallery, Sant’Andrea de Scaphis in Rome, Chris Sharp Gallery, Lyles and King, and Deitch Projects. He is a 2022 Colene Brown Art Prize recipient and 2015 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award recipient, and has been awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Letters as the 2010 ''Young American Painter of Distinction.'' His work is currently in the permanent collections of The Hammer Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Whitney Museum, Columbus Museum of Art, The High Museum, the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the RISD Museum. Residencies include 2013 Fountainhead Residency, 2012 Yaddo, 2008 LMCC Workspace Residency as well as a 2008 Affiliate Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. Aaron holds an MFA in painting from Yale, and a BFA in painting from RISD.