Artist Jeff Hull “put his whole spirit into his work. It was part of him,” said his wife, Deborah Kamy Hull. Now, a collection of oil paintings by Hull—the late artist and Northeastern adjunct professor—is on display at Gallery 360, in a show that honors his work, life, and legacy.
The show features 20 vibrant and colorful abstract paintings as well as a collection of personal items—from family photos to notebooks and sketches—from his gallery in Boston’s South End.
The exhibit, which runs through Aug. 7, is titled “Where’s He From He Didn’t Say, Where’s He Now He Couldn’t Stay.” Hull had written that phrase in charcoal on pieces of paper found in his studio, and his family found it a fitting title for the show.
Hull’s wife, along with many other family members and friends, attended the show’s opening reception last month. She said her husband had been looking forward to this show, which he had started planning last year with campus curator Bruce Ployer. Hull died in February after a long battle with cancer. “His legacy is something that is our family’s to protect and to share with people,” she said.
“He put his whole spirit into his work. It was part of him.”
Hull lived in the South End and taught at Northeastern for about eight years. In 2015, a series of his drawings was featured at West Village H. His work has been displayed in numerous solo and group exhibitions across the Northeast, and he has been honored with awards from the St. Botolph Club Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, among others.
“Jeff painted like a sculptor. That is to say that he used paint like a sculptural material and, to me, he seemed to construct his paintings rather than paint them,” said Peter Thibeault, a long-time friend and part-time lecturer in the Department of Art + Design. “They have the materiality of sculpture, which, by the way, he was also very good at. My friend was generous, supportive, and very funny. He was an ironic, iconic tonic that I will miss for the rest of my days.”