Gil Bruvel: A Collector’s Guide
5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CONTEMPORARY ARTIST AND SCULPTOR, GIL BRUVEL.
Gil Bruvel is an Australian-born, French-raised, and US-based artist who explores the invisible, yet very present, components of life. The chronology of his work displays an evolution of himself as an individual who is constantly growing and changing. Described as a “modern Renaissance man,” Bruvel acquaints himself with a range of tools and mediums to communicate his philosophies on life and the universe.
- Gil Bruvel’s early experience in carpentry sparked his fascination for craft and construction. Bruvel grew up working for his father’s cabinet-making business, where his father taught him and his older brother how to make sculptures from carving wood. These early practices reflected a purely aesthetic purpose but allotted him invaluable skills that he applies to his work today. His father’s workshop gave Bruvel access to a large selection of tools for wood and metal carving. His opportunity to experiment with materials and tools at such a young age reflects the ever-changing nature of his present work which we have seen shift from painting to sculpture and from extrospective to introspective. Bruvel would eventually bring the skills he gained from his early life to an institutional setting. At a prestigious restoration workshop in Chateaurenard, France, Bruvel was able to advance these skills with interdisciplinary learnings of mastery technique and high-level craftsmanship. Through this, Bruvel furthered his curiosity of medium by interchangeably working with bronze, steel, wood, and other materials. His love for architecture also originated from his early exposure to craft and construction.
- An assortment of artistic movements and art forms are sources of inspiration for Bruvel’s work. Architecture is ever-present in Bruvel’s work, with Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, and Lebbeus Woods. Before Gil Bruvel changed his focus to explore the human condition, his work drew primarily from Surrealism and the creation of invented realities. Artists of inspiration for Bruvel included Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, and Georgio de Chirico. Surrealism continues to influence Bruvel’s recent work but is less prominent than his Cubist exploration of distortion, reality, duality, and multiple perspectives. An overarching theme of Bruvel’s work is his interest in the fluidity of space and the simultaneous presentation of multiple perspectives. This is found in Bruvel’s Cubist series, as well as later in his Bending the Lines series, which draws largely from Cubist theory. What attracts Bruvel to Cubist theory is its focus on the invisible forces that make the universe entirely interconnected.
- In Bruvel’s recent work, he investigates the human condition and workings of the human mind. His works are a refined accumulation of a “deep contemplation of images, emotions, and sensations,” which often surface through meditative practice. Manipulating form, pattern, and color, Bruvel provides an unquantifiable and indescribable experience. Force and flow, a main theme of Bruvel’s work, challenge the perception of time and further place the viewer in a realm beyond the physical. This theme of movement and unsettledness roots from Bruvel’s fascination with the visual translation from the theories of force and flow. Bruvel is inspired by erosion, disintegration of landscape, and even something as small as a piece of rotting wood and its entirely unique, patterned interior. Everything changes together and is made inevitably impermanent from the condition of time.
“There is a great complexity to us and to all that surrounds us, which is not accessible unless we are willing to move beyond physicality and into the deeper layers of our consciousness.” – Gil Bruvel
- Every aspect of works within his most recent series, Bending the Lines, serves an important purpose in the work’s overall message. This series could be considered as neosurrealist. Instead of creating complex new worlds, Bruvel dives deep into our own to understand–or rather, feel–the complexity of our existence. With the Mask works in his “Bending the Lines” series, Bruvel physically and conceptually constructs human beings. These works are made out of wooden shafts that mimic neural pathways, which are charred to represent our ephemeral and ever-changing existence. The prevailing gradient colors, representing our minds’ interconnectivity, form a cohesive bond over the sculpture. Combining concepts of surrealism with today’s contemporary, Bruvel peels back the layers of human consciousness to reveal an indescribable harmony between us and the universe.
- Aside from Bending the Lines, Gil Bruvel has several other career–defining series displaying the development of his career and of himself, each based on different facets of the same philosophy: the mind’s interplay with the universe. His paintings, largely deriving from his early career, are a part of his surrealist foundation. They consist majorly of human figures in meditative states placed within settings outside of reality. Bruvel explains his early career as a time when he would depict images based on impulse and instinct. In his Cubist series, Bruvel reduces the human form to component planes and geometric shapes. Redefining space and time, he juxtaposes positive and negative space to paradoxically serve the other’s purpose in defining form. In other words, he uses negative space to imply positive forms while using positive space to imply negative forms, ultimately creating a visually confusing and compelling work that draws you into a world beyond the physical. His flow series, stainless steel works comprised of individual, fluid segments, is centered on the notion of unity. The works within this series synthesize the physical, the metaphoric, and the quantum realms that serve as the fundamental building blocks of the universe. His functional art series contains artistic objects of everyday life that confront this interplay of the physical and the nonphysical elements of the universe.
What’s on now at WCC:
West Chelsea Contemporary presents the Austin International Art Fair, a 7 week long, large-scale immersive exhibition featuring rare works by an impressive roster of international art world masters. Included in the show is father of Surrealism Salvador Dalí with an exceptional selection from the Argillet Collection. Additional featured artists include: Neo-surrealist Australian artist Gil Bruvel, Gary James McQueen, contemporary Chinese artists Zhang Xiao Gang, Yue Min Jun, and Zao Wu Ki, as well as Neo-Pop Japanese artists Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara.
Salvador Dalí | Zhang Xiaogang | Takashi Murakami | Yoshitomo Nara | Gil Bruvel | Yue Minjun | Gary James McQueen | The Connor Brothers | Edward Burtynsky | Maurizio Cattelan | The Love Child | Sofia Cianciulli | Peter Doig | Roberto Dutesco | Kate Garner | Claude Gassian | Damien Hirst | Liu Bolin | Raphael Mazzucco | Vik Muniz | Lyora Pissarro | Gerhard Richter | Gillie & Marc Schattner | Mila Sketch | Hunt Slonem | Matthew Trujillo | Victor Vasarely | Antoine Verglas | Albert Watson | Zao Wou-ki | Rimi Yang | Russell Young | Zhong Biao
Reach out today to inquire or acquire.