29/150: Dil Hildebrand – Scenographer

Montreal artist Dil Hildebrand (b: 1974) worked as a set painter for theatre and TV before moving into the international mainstream with his large format paintings, some of them inspired by ancient Roman trompe l’oeil frescoes.

The Duck Quaketh, acrylic, resin & nylon fibre, and sand on acrylic panel in wood frame. 50 x 38″ C24 Gallery.

Lorem Ipsum is his first New York solo exhibition, showing new paintings through June 30 at C24 Gallery (above). Hildebrand garnered national attention in 2006, while still completing his MFA at Concordia University, when he won the prestigious RBC painting competition.

Dil Hildebrand, The Crow Crieth, 2017, Acrylic, resin, and nylon fiber on acrylic panel on wood, 50 x 36″ C24 Gallery

Drawing from experience in scenic painting for theatre, Hildebrand employs the techniques of illusion used in set design, the gallery says. In Lorem Ipsum, his highly stylized brush strokes mixed with collage and layering of acrylic panels, produce the experience of post-modern architectural form.

Dil Hildebrand, Descending, 2007, Mixed media on canvas, 60 x 106″ Arsenal, Montreal

About his time as a theatre scenographer, Hildebrand has said: “It isn’t just painting, it’s building up surfaces. You need to make Styrofoam look like granite. That was the surreal part . . . like sculpting a storey-tall strawberry for a strawberry shortcake commercial”  – From his profile on the National Art Gallery of Canada site.

Hildebrand’s work has been shown internationally in such venues as the National Art Museum of China, Beijing (2010); the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2012); Herron Galleries at University of Indiana, Indianapolis (2013); Choi&Lager Gallery, Cologne (2013); Union Gallery, London UK (2012&13); University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery, Winnipeg (2013); YYZ, Toronto (2011); Galerie de l’UQAM, Montreal (2013); Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2014); AUT University Gallery, Auckland NZ (2007); and Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto (2006).

Installation view, C24 Gallery, Lorem Ipsum exhibition, Dil Hildebrand

Hildebrand has been awarded a number of distinguished grants and awards including the International Residency at Acme Studios, London UK (2013); the Canada Council for the Arts (2010, 2014); the Banff Centre  Thematic Residency (2009); Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (2009) and was winner of the RBC National Painting Competition (2006).

Dil Hildebrand’s website, here.

Dil Hildebrand, National Gallery of Canada, here.

C24 Gallery exhibition page, here.

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