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Robert Bills Gallery

Woohyun Shim, Flip!

Robert Bills Contemporary, which opened their doors in the spring of 2010, is a new contemporary art gallery located in Chicago’s West Loop. Named after its owner, the gallery shows emerging and mid-career artists. Chicago Tribune named Robert Bills Contemporary on their NEXT hotlist, describing it as one of the top 10 galleries who debuted at NEXT 2010 Chicago.

Jose Cabrera, Night Garden

Bills has been a collector of twentieth century and old master prints for the past 30 years. About five years ago Bills received his drawing certificate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and started making his own work, and soon after became interested in contemporary art. Foregoing  the secondary market for prints, Bills instead entered into the primary market, working directly with contemporary artists such as Woohyun Shim and Jose Luis Cabrera, both recent graduates from the SAIC Undergrad painting program, and Joe Baldwin, an M.F.A student at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Now, working with living artists rather than dead ones, Bill is off with a fresh push forward, something he also looks for in his artists. When looking for an artist, Bills has an eye for an individual who had been trained in technique and whom they have trained with is also a key factor. He looks to see where the artist fits into art history. His artists are new and different advancing and breaking ground keeping art history on its linear path. What he looks for in his artists parallels Bills own practice as a new contemporary art dealer no longer dealing with old masters drawings, but still having the foundation of how we got to where we are now in fine art.

Joe Baldwin, Triptych 1

After Bills time at SAIC he has been confidant to trust his eye, but isn’t necessarily drawn to any particular aesthetic. All of his artists’ works are different yet all very personally invested and have some overlay with art history in a contemporary conversation.
Robert Bills Contemporary is located at 650 West Lake Street Lower Level in the West Loop of Chicago.