Leslie Gill



Food For Thought
March 31 – May 14, 2011

Leslie Gill (1908-1958) among a group of photographers who elevated the editorial still life photograph to a unique American art form. Gill studied painting with Charles Hawthorne in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and graduated with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1929. While working as art director of House Beautiful magazine, Gill began to make his own photographs, unsatisfied with the ability of staff photographers to translate his ideas to images. By 1935, Gill had abandoned his pursuit of painting and committed himself fully to photography as his chosen medium of expression. His images began to appear regularly in Harper's Bazaar, where he collaborated with visionary art director Alexey Brodovitch, helping to revolutionize approaches to graphic design. Gill also made significant technical achievements in his field, adapting theatrical lighting equipment for specialized use by still life photographers. He was also one of the first artists to experiment with using 8x10 inch format Kodachrome film. During his brief but extraordinary career, Gill's work appeared in the pages of numerous magazines, including Life, Harper's Bazaar, McCall's, Town & Country, and Holiday. He collected artwork, memorabilia, and found objects for use in his work, creating relationships of shape, tone, and tactile properties of the objects he photographed. In his career, Gill defied expectations of editorial photography, creating images that were commercially viable while simultaneously fulfilling his artistic aspirations.