Sheila Finnigan

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"Melpomene," Muse of Tragedy Glass, Metal And Canvas 27" X 14" X 14" © Sheila Finnigan
"Urania," Muse of Astronomy Glass, Metal And Canvas 14" X 15" X 15" © Sheila Finnigan
"Cleo," Muse of History (after J. L. David's "A Marat") Charcoal, Gesso, Flora, Canvas 91" X 72" © Sheila Finnigan
Da Vinci in a New Light Mixed Media 84" X 62" © Sheila Finnigan
The Crossing Mixed Media 40" X 30" © Sheila Finnigan
Gartered Mona Lisa Mixed Media 20" X 23" © Sheila Finnigan
Andy's Last Souper (study) Mixed Media 28" X 22" © Sheila Finnigan
The Weight of Marilyn's Kiss Boa, Scale 12"X6"X6" © Sheila Finnigan
8 1/2 10" X 26" X 1/2" © Sheila Finnigan
The Lovely Apprentice III Gouache, Ink, Acrylic, Tar 48" X 71" © Sheila Finnigan
Untitled 3 Mixed Media 43.5" X 30" © Courtesy of the artist and Josef Glimer Gallery
© Courtesy of the artist and Josef Glimer Gallery
Unittled 1, 2011 Mixed Media On Paper 22 1/2 X 30 3/4 © Josef Glimer Gallery
Quick Facts
Lives in

My paintings are intended to provoke thought and emotion in the Expressionist tradition. I use a variety of media: tempera, oil, acrylic, ink, pastel, pencil and gouache. I often portray a narrative of figures from either the past or the present, and I often reference paintings from artists of past eras. The viewer is thus able to draw a multitude of connections including historic, artistic and personal. I often set these narratives in a black field to create a timeless dream-like quality.

My recent New York show highlights Andy Warhol. It combines painting with installation art to create a kind of after-image post-reality. "Andy's Last Souper: The Trilogy", "Homage" and "Or Should I Say It Like a Woman Artist?" present my own Pop Art postscript to Warhol's first Tomato Soup Cans solo show.
The living spirit of Warhol is conjured up by showing his dirty dishes from his "Last Souper" still left on the table, an installation piece adjacent to the "Last Souper" paintings. The same is true of "Homage", in which the drape that covers Warhol and the cart on which he sits are simultaneously depicted on canvas and in the adjacent installation, as if happening in real time.

"Andy's Last Souper" parodies the image of Warhol as a Pop Art star. His image is repeated for ironic effect, just as he repeated the images of others, but in the context of Da Vinci's "Last Supper" which adds further ironies, including that he ultimately has become the consumer of one of his favorite images, Campbell's Tomato Soup.

"Homage" references "The Death of Marat" by the French painter, David. This reference, by contrast, is intended to suggest that Warhol falls far short of the exalted status he has been given by art historians. While Marat's death in David's painting has an elegant quality, my portrayal of Warhol's death does not. On Marat's "desk" is an ink well, his hand holds an elegant pen, and his last great words alongside him refer to the Revolution. In contrast, on Warhol's desk is a bowl of tomato soup, his hand holds a just-dipped tomato soup paint brush, and his last great words refer only to himself. While on the floor near David's Marat is the bloodied knife dropped by his assassin, on Warhol's floor is a bloodied knife suggesting (as Ed McCormack in "Gallery & Studio" says in his review of my New York show) "both the surgical incompetence that caused [Andy's] demise and the back-stabbing social milieu in which he thrived."

Artist Resume


BFA, California College of the Arts, San Francisco
MA, MFA Northern Illinois University, DeKalb
Recent Studies: With Ed Paschke, August 2004


Comment in NEW YORK TIMES review by William Zimmer, 2001: "Sheila Finnigan’s work is “immediately appealing.”

Comment in GALLERY & STUDIO by Ed McCormack, 2004: “The good news is that real painting survived...and that Sheila Finnigan is around not only to exemplify it but to tell the tale.”

Important Honor Awards:
New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, “International Juried Show”, 2001
Woodstock, Illinois, “International Women’s Works Exhibition”, 1999, and 2001: Best in Show
Hunter Museum
Westmoreland (College) Art Nationals, Pennsylvania, 1998


Pleiades Gallery, New York (Chelsea): Solo Show, “Iconomics” May 17 - June 5, 2005
ARC Gallery, Chicago: Solo Show, "Yankee Doodles," October 2005
Pleiades Gallery, New York (Chelsea): Solo Show, “One-Stop POP!” July 2004
ARC Gallery, Chicago: “Solo Show”, April 2004
Goodman Theater, Chicago: “Solo Show” (in conjunction with the Chicago Film Critics Awards) November 2002
Northern Illinois University: “Solo Show”, March 2000
University of Illinois, Chicago: “Solo Show”, November 1999, (Companion show with work of Charlotte Salomon (1917-1943)
Buckham Gallery, Flint Michigan: “Two-Person Show”, October 1999
ARC Gallery, Chicago: “Solo Show”, 1990
Noyes Art Center, Evanston, IL: “Solo Show”, 1990
Ohio State University, Newark Art Gallery: “Two-Person Show”, 1990, Juror: Dr Kathleen Kadon Desmond
Countryside Art Center, Arlington Hts., IL: “Solo Show”, 1989
ARC Gallery, Chicago: “Solo Show”, 1988 (Photographed)


New Jersey Center for Visual Arts: “International Juried Show”, 2001
Juror: Donald Kuspit, Art Critic and Professor at SUNY Stonybrook
+1400 submissions, 35 accepted

Panel Discussion: “The State of the Arts”
Participants: Donald Kuspit, Joseph Jacobs, Curator of American Art, The Newark Museum of Art, and Dominiq Nahas,
New York Art Critic and Curator (Honor Award, Two Reviews)

Woodstock, IL, “International Women’s Works Juried Exhibit”, April 2001 (Best in Show)

Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee, May 1999
Juror: Donald Kuspit
Lecture on the Show by Donald Kuspit (Honor Award)
+1500 submissions, 32 accepted

Woodstock, IL, “International Women’s Works Juried Exhibit”, April 1999 (Honor Award)

The National Halpert Biennial, Appalachian State University, Boone,
North Carolina: Juried into Three Biennials - 1995; 1997; 2001
Juror for 2001: Terry Sultan, Curator, Corcoran Gallery of Art

The Fremont Museum of Art Juried Show (Illinois), 1992

International Gallery Invitational, Chicago, 1991


Mars Gallery Invitational, Chicago, Illinois: "The Psychedelic Revolution Art Happening," May 2005

Peter Jones Gallery, Chicago, Illinois: "Nude Now Show," June 2005

Smithtown Arts Council, St James, New York: 29th National Juried Fine Arts Exhibition, October 2004
Juror: Donald Kuspit

Lynnarts/Time Warner Gallery, Lynn, Massachusetts: “Wavelength”, September 2003
Juror: Ingrid Swanson

Lynnarts/Time Warner Gallery, Lynn, Massachusetts: “Blood of the Lamb”, October 2003
Juror: Fred Schaeffer, Author/Film Director

Limner Gallery, New York, “Emerging Artists 2003: Spring Salon”

Smithtown Arts Council, St James New York: 28th National Juried Fine Arts Exhibition, 2003
Juror: Carrie Springer, Senior Curatorial Assistant, Whitney Museum of Art

Sioux City Art Center (Iowa): “58th National Juried Exhibition”, March 2002

Beacon Street Gallery, Chicago, September 2002 to February, 2003
Traveling Exhibit To: St. Louis, Missouri; South Bend, Indiana; Omaha, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa

Chicago Arts Club: Biennial “Group Show” November 2001 and 2003


NIU Gallery, Chicago: “Seven-Person Show”, July 2000

Oakton College (Illinois): “Group Show”, October 2000 (Brochure, Talk)

Belloc-Lowndes Gallery, Chicago: “The Chicago Art Scene”, September 1999

Westmoreland College, Pennsylvania: Westmoreland Art Nationals, May 1998 (Honor Award)
Juror: Lowell Tolstedt, Dean, Columbus College of Art and Design

National Arts Heritage Exhibit, LaTrobe, Pennsylvania, June 1998
Juror: William Woodward, Senior Professor of Art, George Washington University, Washington DC (Honor Award)

John G. Blank Center for the Arts, Michigan City, Indiana: “13th National Juried Exhibit," April 1998
Juror: Tony Jones - President, School of the Art Institute of Chicago


Memphis College of Art (Tennessee): “1997 National Juried Show”

Art Academy of Cincinnati: “National Juried Four-Person Show," 1997 (Reviewed)

“Midwest Twelve-State Regional Juried Show," 1997,
Juror: Ann Sass, Curator, Whitney Museum of Art

Artemesia Gallery, Chicago: “Eight-State Regional Show,” 1996

Aurora University (Illinois): “Six-Person Show,” 1996

The State of Illinois Art Gallery, Chicago: “Good Painting Show” (Eight-Person Show), 1993 (Reviewed)

Muse Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: “Group Show,” 1993

ABC No Rio, New York: “Group Show,” 1993

Women’s Club of Evanston: “Vicinity Show,” 1993
Jurors: Michael Bonesteel - Art Critic, “Pioneer Press,” James Yood - Art Critic, and Professor, Northwestern University (Honor Award)

Galerie Tonalli, Mexico City, Mexico: “Group Show,” 1992

Esther Saks Gallery, Chicago: “Invitational Six-Person Show,” 1990


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