Gib Singleton Gallery
one willow bridge road, suite cs-5 | vail • 970.476.4851 • gibsingletongallery.com
featuring Gib Singleton
Gib Singleton bounced around for forty years from town to town, country to country and gallery to gallery. He was looking for someone that could identify the importance of his work and vision. In meeting with Paul Zueger he not only found representation for his work, but also a bond that propelled their journey together, introducing the world to a new form of art called emotional realism.
Now, three years after Singleton’s death in 2014, Zueger continues to represent Gib’s work and assist in preserving his legacy. Gib was ahead of his time, planning and always thinking about the future.
Many artists pass away without a strategy to preserve their legacies. The price of an artist’s work after their death typically rises within the first year, but then sales and public interest vanish within three years — only to return with renewed zest, and increased prices, 20 to 50 years later.
Gib laid out a plan for his art and legacy. Part of that plan included creating monumental pieces. When Gib traveled through Europe he realized how much of an impact monumental pieces had on him and he was sure other people would have the same impressions. Gib’s goal was to have his set of life-size Fourteen Stations of the Cross to be installed in Rome. It’s not a stretch to imagine that happening in the future. Singleton had already impressed the Vatican foundry early in his career with his design of Christ on a bowed cross. John Paul II had carried a version of this on his crozier, as well as Pope Benedict and Pope Francis.
Gib dreamed big. There are 33 editions of his life-size Stations and he wanted them to be on display in 33 cities throughout the world. Gib wanted to have his artwork be around for 500 years. In regards to this, he was known for saying what happens now is not really that important; what happens 500 years from now is very important. Two sets of the life-size Stations of the Cross have already been placed. One is at the Basilica in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the second is at the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas, Texas.
Scott Peck, the curator of the Museum of Biblical Art, describes what solidifies an artist’s legacy: a presence in museums, a strong catalogue of work, unreleased work available after death and a museum in an artist’s name.
Gib seemed to have foresight in developing his legacy. He created 40 molds of unreleased works, which his estate will release, four pieces a year over the next decade. The Gib Singleton Museum in Santa Fe was established about ten years ago. It displays the approximately 150 bronzes he produced in his lifetime along with the 40 unreleased pieces. Keeping his artwork in the public eye will be key to the longevity of Gib’s legacy
There are several documentaries about his approach to bronze, which correlates his story and his style. Several books compile his diverse collection of Western, contemporary and spiritual works. All of this combined validates Gibs work and legacy to the world. Gib Singleton’s estate, the museum and Paul Zueger are committed to the project for the next 30 years, at which point the art will have a life of its own.
That means continuing to place pieces in museums, sculpture gardens and municipalities allows Singleton’s art to be alive and in sight. This is exactly what Gib wanted.
The sculptor, who invented emotional realism and brought Christian art back into the mainstream, will continue to impact viewers.
Through his intention — plus a little help from his friends — the artist’s legacy is strong and intact.
— by kimberly nicoletti