Jil Evans’ abstract paintings are grounded in observation of the natural world and her interest in the history of painting. While living in England in the early 1990s, she began what has become an ongoing practice—studying and working from paintings in museum collections from around the world. Primarily, her work has been inspired by master works in London, New York City, Venice, and her home city, Minneapolis. Observation and sketching are integral to her process, allowing her to stay in a painting for hours to discover things that come forward only after sustained looking. Her latest body of work, Heart, Bright Dark, was developed using an ipad as a sketching tool, which let her work quickly through many ideas on a small scale before they became the sketches that were translated into her large-scale oil paintings.
Evans’ work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and is held in private and museum collections throughout the United States, including Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Flaten Art Museum, and Halle Ford Museum of Art. She has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, which include a Jerome Foundation Grant, Arts Midwest/National Endowment for the Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board grant, and a Pew Grant to study and paint Italy, and residencies at the American Academy in Rome and the Atlantic Center for the Arts.