Thomas Sills - Abstract Expressionism painting

Thomas Sills (August 20, 1914 – September 26, 2000) was a painter and collagist and a participant in the New York Abstract Expressionist movement. At the peak of his career in the 1960s and 1970s, his work was widely shown in museums. He had four solo shows at Betty Parsons Gallery, was regularly featured in art journals and is in museum collections.Thomas Sills was born and raised in Castalia, North Carolina. Before he got involved with painting, he worked in a greenhouse in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the color around him made a strong impression on him. Once in New York, he worked on the docks, as a janitor, and as a deliveryman.Sills spent most of his creative life in New York City, deeply rooted in the artistic trends as well as cultural issues from the early 1950s to 1970s. He knew Willem de Kooning who visited his studio and told him not to throw anything away before anyone had seen it.
Others in the NY circle gave him advice. At the time of his first solo show, Barnett Newman sent him a letter of congratulations.His friendships with Newman and Mark Rothko placed him at the intellectual center of the Abstract Expressionist movement, but like de Kooning, Arshile Gorky and Franz Kline, Sills believed that it was not necessary to explain his art; he painted what he felt and it came from within.
Sills began his work as a fine artist when he was in his mid-thirties, about the time he married the mosaicist Jeanne Reynal. Essentially self-taught and inspired by Reynal's collection of abstract art, he began working with the materials he found in her mosaic studio, but soon branched out to oil on wood as well as canvas.










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