Brian Gillis examines sociocultural issues as the consequent evidence of particular historic moments by exposing their genesis, conditions, and outcomes. His work uses a variety of production strategies and conceptual approaches. These often draw from specific sites and related institutions, and range from the production of objects and editions of multiples to site-specific installations and actions.

Gillis is the recipient of distinctions including fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, Oregon Arts Commission, MacDowell Colony, and a recent residency at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Gillis has exhibited his work nationally and internationally at institutions including CUE Art Foundation, the Mint Museum, and the Milwaukee Art Museum, as well as the Cluj Museum of Art (Romania) and Heilongjiang University (China).

Gillis received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Studio Art and Art Education from Humboldt State University and a Master of Fine Arts from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of Oregon.