GIL BRUVEL (b. 1959, French)
Artist. Sculptor. Creative Force. Dreamer. Visionary. Craftsman. Aesthete.
The first seven of many monikers that come to mind when considering the force of will that is contained in the artwork and mind of the artist, Gil Bruvel.
Operating seamlessly between the new art technology that he designs with and historical practices in which he is well-versed, Gil Bruvel embodies the modern Renaissance man. Bruvel’s visions are rooted in his training but shine brilliant with his growth as an artistic revolutionary. Gil Bruvel’s most recent art collections consist of the Bending the Lines series, the Flow series, the Cubist series, his functional art collection, the chess boards and his evocative paintings: all embracing a sense of meditative serenity. Strong but fluid, his artwork speaks to his surrounding environments, his love for the beauty of human form and his sense of geometric experimentation.
This organic conversation not only reflects the otherworldliness of a thinking artist, but grants insight to a thriving communicative collaboration with each piece. His team of assistants, casters, and friends all seem to be integrated with his process while maintaining a singular voice that could only come from Gil Bruvel himself. Adapting with the world around him, his artwork has reached the eyes of many, traveling out into the world, adorning every level of class and institution.
As a child he began expressing himself through drawing and painting. Born of French parents in Australia in 1959, Bruvel was raised in southern France. His father’s cabinetmaking shop became a classroom, Gil learning early on about precision and three-dimensional design by carving and creating in wood. As a young teen he was accepted into a respected art restoration workshop, where he received an intensive hands-on education in art techniques and history. He began visiting the United States in the mid-1980s, had his first American solo show in Laguna Beach, Ca. in 1988, and settled in this country in 1990.
Since then, Bruvel has passionately pursued an organic surge of artistic expression through a range of mediums and forms. Among them: painting, graphite pencil, bronze-casting, functional furniture, mixed media, public sculpture, and works in stainless steel. “I find continual and ever-changing inspiration in the constant observation of the infinite layers within my surroundings,” Bruvel says. “If there is an intention to understand and completely open oneself up to what is being observed, then patterns start to define themselves and intuitively assemble into interesting pieces of artwork.”
Having a deep understanding of art history, it is inevitable that certain artists influenced and inspired Bruvel’s approach. Early on these tended to be the surrealists, including Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, and Giorgio de Chirico. Later, painters such as Francis Bacon and Robert Matta were among the sparks that fired his imaginative flame. “When I was a young artist it was all about the impulse, instincts, the single-minded vision to create something mostly from feelings and images popping into my mind.”
These days Bruvel is particularly drawn to the originality and sculptural vision of certain architects, among them, Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, and Lebbeus Woods. Still, he moves effortlessly from one medium to the next, with his perception and intuitive ability to retain ephemeral images as they flicker through his sensory, emotional, and intellectual fields. For Gil, the act of creating art is synonymous with the discovery of such images, while seeking to translate ephemeral qualities of human experience into solid form. The sensation of wind across the skin or the exquisitely subtle energy arc that bridges distance, either immeasurably small or overwhelmingly vast; seemingly random patterns that emerge and coalesce.
During his more than thirty-year career, Gil Bruvel has passionately followed an ever-changing, organic flow of artistic expression as it has moved through a series of mediums and forms. Each one is a reflection of the artist’s aesthetic sensibility and thoughtful perspective at the time, while continuously remaining open to the inner nudges inherent in a truly creative life. And in each approach—from surrealist-inspired and fantastical imagery to three-dimensional functional and sculptural art, to the current Flow series—he has drawn on threads of creative stimulus and artistic mastery that began very early on.
With the Flow series, Bruvel continues to celebrate the imaginative and the real, yet here his vision seems to penetrate the veil of material form. These striking, evocative sculptures, comprised of graceful sinuous ribbons of cast stainless steel, reveal an essential underlying fluidity that exists simultaneously within the physical, quantum, and metaphoric realms. Bruvel’s ribbons of energy may flow in parallel streams, yet they convey the subtle and complex human intersections of beauty and pain, inner and outer, the ephemeral and the eternal now.
SELECTED SOLO & GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2019 Art Market San Francisco Art Fair, Chloe Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2018 Art Market San Francisco Art Fair, Chloe Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2017 Art Market San Francisco Art Fair, Chloe Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2017 Venice Art Biennale, Giardini and Arsenale, Italy
2016 Chloe Gallery, Color / Shape / Form , San Francisco, CA Houston Fine Art Fair, Houston TX Art Aspen, Aspen, CO Art Southampton, Water Mill, NY
2015 Texas Contemporary Art Fair, Houston, TX Art Paris, Paris France
2013 Chloe Gallery, Wimberley, TX Jan Kossen Contemporary, Art Basel Miami, FL Re-Art/Marcel Salome, Dreamscapes Exhibition, Viechtach, Germany
2011 Dolce Gallery, Telluride Film Festival, Telluride, CO Fantasmus Art, Hilleroed Bibliotek, Denmark
2010 St. George Cathedral, Perth, Australia
2008 Fantasmus, Copenhagen, Denmark “The Hotel Show,” Ex One/Metaltec Innovations, Dubai Pageant of the Masters, Laguna Beach, CA Sculpture in the Park, “23rd Annual Exhibition,” Loveland, CO
2007 Anchorage Museum of History & Fine Art, Planes, Trains and Automobiles: A History of Transportation in America, AK De Gouden Phoenix, Venus & the Female Intuition, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands Princesse de Kiev, Venus & the Female Intuition, Nice, France
1976 Musée des Baux-de-Provence, France, solo show
SELECTED PRIZES, HONORS & AWARDS
2015 ‘Water Warrior Award,’ Chosen by World Vision to create their award to be presented to their selected major donors.
2010 ‘Public Prize,’ “St. George & the Dragon,” International Juried Sculpture Competition, St. George’s Cathedral, Perth, Australia
2009 ‘Honorable Mention,’ “George’s Horse,” stainless steel & bronze sculpture, Gateway to the Imagination, Nationally Juried Competition, Farmington Museum, NM
2008 ‘Best in Show,’ “The Oracle,” mixed-media sculpture, Gateway to the Imagination, Farmington Museum ‘First Place,’ “Chess Set, The Natural-vs-Mechanical Worlds,” mixed-Media, objet d’art sculpture, Visual Arts Alliance, Houston, TX
2007 ‘Honorable Mentions,’ “The Builder,” stainless steel and bronze; “Dream of Earth,” bronze sculptures, Gateway to the Imagination, Farmington Museum
2006 ‘First Place,’ “Balance, The Passage” and “Dream of Water,” bronze sculptures, Visual Arts Alliance, Houston
2006 ‘Best in Show,’ “The Passage,” bronze sculpture, Gateway to the Imagination, Farmington Museum ‘Award of Excellence,’ “Balance,” New Jersey Equine Artists’ Association, Bedminster, NJ
1987 ‘Bronze Medal,’ Palais des Congrès, Paris, France BIBLIOGRAPHY
2013 Dreamscapes V: Contemporary Imaginary Realism, anthology
2011 Spectrum 18: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, Underwood Books, anthology IMAGINAIRE IV: Contemporary Magic Realism, Fantasmus Art, Denmark, anthology
2010 Spectrum 17: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, Underwood Books, Nevada City, CA, anthology IMAGINAIRE III: Contemporary Magic Realism, anthology IMAGINAIRE II: Magic Realism
2010, Edition Brusen, Fantasmus Art, anthology
2008 IMAGINAIRE: Magic Realism, Claus Brusen, anthology
2007 Dreamscape 2: The Best of Imaginary Realism, Salbru Publishing, Wimberley, TX
2006 Dreamscape: The Best of Imaginary Realism, Salbru Publishing
2001 Timeless Travelers, Portraiture by Gil Bruvel, Wimberley
1994 Reality of a Dreamer, Volume II, Eastern Printing Co, Bangkok, Thailand
1992 Reality of a Dreamer, Dai Nippon Printing, Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan
1999 Domestic housing design – works of art, fixtures, installations: ceiling painting, paintings and sculptures, stonework, columns, stained-glass windows, doors, door handles, bas-relief, flooring, newel post, handrails, etc., Houston