SAUL GRAY-HILDENBRAND


STATEMENT

Art can deliver information and also obscure it. I am interested in the push and pull.  I have transitioned from overt representation of figures and ideas to mysterious narratives, to fields of light and shadow being cast on familiar objects.  My paintings and sculptures in a way are sealed packages to be forever shaken but never fully unwrapped.  I am letting myself be guided by emotional decisions more than higher conceptual planes.  The work I feel is a reaction to an increasingly noisy and hyper-stimulating world of blips and beeps.  Quietude and mystery are the meadows and oceans that allow for reflection, settling and breath.  

I like to use material with a history or a prior utility.  Nostalgic charm presented self aware of its uselessness: matches covered in a layer of polymer unthreatening and stripped of their ephemeral smoke and flame; Books glued and painted shut render their stories memories of memories; Wood used to support other art is cut into hundreds of pieces and tied back together with plastic cable ties. The strength now sags like a blanket but lacks the tactile comfort.  


PROFILE

Wide-eyed and expressive, the figures featured in the idiosyncratic work of Saul Gray-Hildenbrand are captivating and mysterious.  His characters’ features are exaggerated in a way which strikes the viewer as warmly odd and disturbingly funny.   He deliberately avoids being specific, a result of his infatuation with “things out of context; a person out of their space, a sentence out of a story, a word all by itself”. His subjects are placed in ambiguous spaces free of environment and perspective, leading the viewer to draw our own conclusions.  The addition of text to his compositions deepens the mysterious world of each figure and enriches potential narratives. 

A graduate of Grand Valley State University and a prolific artist, Gray-Hildenbrand works in a variety of media from drawing to painting to sculpture, and employs a biting visual humor that is both peculiar and endearing.  It is with his complex, peculiar creations that Gray-Hildenbrand reveals his “profane love of the absurd”. 


BIOGRAPHY

EDUCATION

2000
Bachelor of Fine Arts: Concentration in Art and Design, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan

1999
Kingston University Exchange Program: Concentrations- Ceramics, Sculpture, and Painting, London, England

ARTS-RELATED EXPERIENCE

2012-2014
Illustrator for Vox Media

2006-2012
Head Preparator, Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, California

2004-2010
Special Events Volunteer, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2000  
Student Liaison for the Art Department, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI
Classroom Assistant to Professor Daleene Menning, Ceramics, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2018
“Collective”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2017
“Perception & Intention”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
“Toast”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“Slightly Obsessive”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“Everyone in the Pool”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
"Freshly Considered", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids,

2016
"25th Year Anniversary Gala", Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, Alabama
"sELECTED Works", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"Toast", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
"Slightly Obsessive", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
"Everyone in the Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
"Collective Alchemy", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2015
"Let's Get Started", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"Slightly Obsessive", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
"Everyone in The Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
“Lookie Here”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2014
“Annual Fall Celebration”, LaFontsee Galleries,  Grand Rapids, MI
“Slightly Obsessive II”,  LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“Hop Skip & a Jump”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“Out of the Polar Vortex”, LaFontsee Galleries,  Grand Rapids, MI
“Live Coverage”, Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI
“From Dusk Til Drawn”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara, CA

2013   
"Annual Fall Celebration", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Go Figure”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Museum of Contemporary Art, “From Dusk Till Drawn”, Santa Barbara, CA

2012   
“Decoration” Solo Show, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“25 Year Gala”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Can(n)On”, Atkinson Gallery, Santa Barbara, California
“LG-Group”, LaFontsee Galleries,  Douglas, Michigan
“Color Context”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
“Maimal Minimal”, Left Coast Books, Goleta, California
“Power of Pattern” , LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
“Open House”, CAF Satellite at Hotel Indigo, Santa Barbara, California
“Fresh Squeezed and Locally Grown”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
“Act II” , LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

2011    
“Come Out and Play”LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Fall at the Lakeshore”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
“Eating Apples in Paradise”, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, California
“ArtPrize 2011”, Devos Place, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Summer Fun”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
“Opening Celebration”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

2010   
“Snarled Megalopolis”, IHC Platform Gallery, Santa Barbara, California
“ArtPrize 2010”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“These Are Their Stories”, Meltdown Gallery, Los Angeles, California
"Live Coverage 2010”, UICA, Grand Rapids, MI
“La Vie En Rose”, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA

2009   
“Super Santa Barbara” Santa Barbara, California
“A Communion of Saints”, David Shelton Gallery, San Antonio, Texas
“Artprize 2009”, Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI
“Live Coverage 2009”Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI
“Materialization", Deborah Martin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2008   
“Joint Custody Project”, Found Gallery, Los Angeles, California

2007
"2007-a,", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2006
"Green-eyed Monster", Bank of the Southwest, Solo Exhibition, Phoenix, AZ

2005
"Gluttony", Satellite Gallery,  Grand Rapids, Michigan
"Artfestation," Grand Rapids, Michigan
"Sputnik", Satellite Gallery, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"Lowell Regional Arts Juried Exhibition", Lowell Area Arts Council, Lowell, MI
"Celebration of the Arts - 32nd Annual Religious Art Show", First United Methodist Church, Juried Exhibition, Grand Rapids, MI; Received Honorable Mention

2004
"Holland Area Arts Council Regional Competition", Holland Area Arts Council, Juried Exhibition, Holland, MI
"Art on the Wall", Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art,  Boulder, Colorado
"Words Up", City Street Bagels,  Group Exhibition, Boulder, Colorado

2003
"Gallery Sovereign Juried Exhibition", Gallery Sovereign, Boulder, Colorado

2002
Lo-Fi Gallery, Group Exhibition, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"A Figurative Moment", Nines Gallery, Three-Person Exhibition, Douglas, MI
Gallery Sovereign, Group Exhibition, Boulder, Colorado

2001
"Live Coverage", Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI
"Lowell Regional Arts Juried Exhibition", Lowell Area Arts Council, Juried Exhibition, Lowell, MI

2000
"Circles of Meat and Sugar", Calder Art Gallery, BFA Exhibition, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI

1999
"Firms in Land," Group Exhibition, Surbiton, England