Matt Gil

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Born: 1956, San Jose, CA


1974-78 San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

Selected Solo Exhibitions:

2012 NEXT Art Chicago, presented by Marx & Zavattero, San Francisco, CA
2011 "Variety Pack," Marx & Zavattero, San Francisco, CA
2009 “Recent Work,” Oshman Sculpture Court, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA
2008 "Reel to Real," Marx & Zavattero, San Francisco, CA
“Sculpture by Matt Gil,” 425 Market Street, San Francisco, CA
2006 “Matt Gil,” Gallery 555, Oakland Museum of California at City Center, Oakland, CA
2005 “Trinkets,” Bank of America Building, 555 California Street, San Francisco, CA (presented by Heather Marx Gallery & Jan Casey and Associates)
2002 “Pedigree,” Heather Marx Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2000 “Sculptures by Matt Gil,” Stankus Conway Associates, Inc., San Francisco, CA
1990 “Recent Sculpture in Bronze,” Christopher Grimes Gallery, Carmel, CA
1989 “Matt Gil New Sculpture,” Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
“Matt Gil,” Ivory/Kimpton Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1986 “Matt Gil,” Ivory/Kimpton Gallery, San Francisco, CA
“Matthew Gil,” Transamerica Corporation Redwood Park, San Francisco, CA
“Matt Gil Kinetic Sculpture,” Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA
1985 “Recent Sculpture Matt Gil,” American Institute of Architects, Santa Clara, CA
1982 “Matt Gil Sculpture,” Modesto Junior College, Modesto, CA
1981 “Matt Gil Recent Sculpture,” Grossmont College, El Cajon, CA
1980 “Matthew Gil,” Artvarks, San Jose, CA
1978 “Matt Gil Kinetic Sculpture,” Works, San Jose, CA

Selected Group Exhibitions:

2013 "Split Focus," Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco, CA (curated by Dan Carlson)
"Matt Gil Sculptures," Napa Art Walk, Napa, CA
2011 “Sea Change: The 10th Anniversary Exhibition,” Marx & Zavattero, San Francisco, CA
2002 “Matt Gil and Charles Arnoldi,” 425 Market Street, San Francisco, CA
2001 “The Inaugural Exhibition,” Heather Marx Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2000 “Sculpture Walk,” Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
“Group Sculpture Show,” Vitra, San Francisco, CA
1999 “Kinetic Art,” Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa, CA
1990 “California Aftershock,” K. Kimpton Gallery, San Francisco, CA
“West L.A.…Art Galleries Introduction to Glendale,” 801 North Brand,
Glendale, CA
Chicago International Art Fair, Chicago, IL
“Art Action Energy,” Barnsdale Art Park, Los Angeles, CA
1989 “Looking North,” Gensler and Associates/Architects, Los Angeles, CA
Chicago International Art Fair, Chicago, IL
“Motion Motion Kinetic Art,” Museum of Neon Art, Los Angeles, CA
1988 “Chicago International Art Fair, Chicago, IL
1987 “Process/Print,” Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA
1986 “Holiday Party and Shoebox Show,” The Art Store Gallery, Oakland, CA
Chicago International Art Fair, Chicago, IL
International Contemporary Art Fair, Los Angeles, CA
“Gifts of Art,” New Langton Arts, San Francisco, CA
“The Animated Object,” Site 311, Pacific Grove, CA
Rockford Art Center, Rockford, IL
1985 “Teachers and Their Pupils,” Anna Gardner Gallery, Stinson Beach, CA
1984 “Light, Structure and Motion,” Olive Hyde Gallery, Fremont, CA
“Works of Northern California Artists,” Crocker Kingsley Gallery, Sacramento, CA
1983 “16 Sculptors,” Roy Boyd Gallery, Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA
“San Francisco Fine Arts Show,” Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA
1982 “Crossover: An ArTech Exhibit,” Helen Euphrat Gallery, De Anza College, Cupertino, CA
1981 “California Artists’ Exhibition/Sales,” Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA
1979 “San Francisco Museum of Art’s Annual Artist Patron Exhibition,” San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
1978 “Upstarts,” Redding Art Museum, Redding, CA
1977 Union Gallery, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
“Kinetic Metal Sculpture,” Nevada Art Gallery, Reno, NV


2005 Kunststiftung Lutz Ackermann Bildhauer, Gäufelden-Nebringen, Germany

Selected Public Collections:

City of Sunnyvale, Sunnyvale, CA
DLA Piper USA LLP, Sacramento, CA
Yahoo! Inc., Corporate Headquarters, Sunnyvale, CA
San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Syntex Corporation, Palo Alto, CA
Saks Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
Oracle Corporation, Belmont, CA
Cupertino Electrical Corporation, Cupertino, CA
Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA
Nagoya Hotel, Nagoya, Japan
Double Tree, Santa Monica, CA
Peninsula Hotel, New York, NY
Sydney International Airport, Sydney, Australia
London Club, Las Vegas, NV
McDonald’s Corporation, IL

Selected Bibliography:

2011 "Don't Miss: Matt Gil 'Variety Pack'," San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook, May 29,
p. 41
"4 Some" (reproduction), San Francisco Arts Monthly, June, p. 14
Baker, Kenneth, "Gil’s Thrills," San Francisco Chronicle, May 7, p. E2
2008 Junker, Howard (Editor), “Untitled I” and “Untitled II” (reproductions), ZYZZYVA, Fall, Vol. XXIV No. 2, p. 82, 84
Martin, Stacy, “Matt Gil: Reel to Real,” San Francisco Bay Guardian, June 25, p. 50
Vogel, Traci, “Beyond Pottery Barn: Shows at Jack Fischer and Marx & Zavattero break the ceramics mold,” SF Weekly, June 11, p. 31
Ritchie, Andy, “Interview with Matt Gil,” rack room, June
Huston, Johnny Ray, “Local Artist: Matt Gil,” San Francisco Bay Guardian, May 14, p. 22
2005 “Roadblock,” (reproduction), San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook, July 10, p. 54
2002 Janku, Laura Richard, “Matt Gil: Pedigree and Madeline Silber: Brink,”
flavorpill SF, December 3
Koppman, Debra, “Matt Gil,” Artweek, November, Volume 33, Issue 9, p. 25
Berry, Colin, “ 'The Inaugural Exhibition' at Heather Marx Gallery,” Artweek, February, Volume 33, Issue 1, p. 25
1990 Taylor, Joan Chatfield, “Contemporary Eclat,” Architectural Digest, September, p. 142, 146-7
1989 The California Art Review. American References Publishing Corporation,
Chicago, IL
Jenkins, Jim and Quick, Dave: Motion, Motion, Kinetic Art. Gibbs Smith, 
Layton, UT
1986 Goldberg, Beth, "A Dynamic Assertiveness," Artweek, December 20, p. 6
Jan, Alfred, “Kinetic Image-Making,” Artweek, April 12, p. 4
1985 “Matthew Gil, Sculptor, Portrait of an Artist,” 16mm Film by Robert Gardner
Dickson, Joanne, “Art Notes,” Point Reyes Lights, July 5, p. 18
Seymour, Anne, “Matthew Gil’s Kinetic Art,” Centervoice, June, p. 21
1983 Worthington, Robin, "High Tech Art Cast in Light-Hearted Mold," The Argus, December 15, p. 23
1982 Stutzin, Leo, “Kinetic Art – It’s Always on the Move…,” Modesto Bee, March 7, p. C6-7
1980 Harms, Sally, “Where to Find Alternative Art,” San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, November 30, p. 32-6
Harms, Sally, “Artvarks,” South Bay Weekly, April 24-30, p. 6
“Matt Gil’s Kinetic Sculpture,” The Independent Weekly, April 16-22, p. 8

Print print

Press Release


APRIL 30 – JUNE 4, 2011
Opening reception for the artist: Saturday, April 30, 5:00 – 7:00 PM

For more information, contact Steve Zavattero
Phone: 415.627.9111/e-mail:

Marx & Zavattero is proud to announce long-time San Francisco resident and sculptor Matt Gil’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery April 30 – June 4. Combining his unique abstract three-dimensional designs with experiments in new sculptural media – including galvanized steel & cement and wall-mounted pieces dipped repeatedly in hot asphalt – Gil’s work and process continue to remain fresh and intriguing. The artist will also present a series of new small-scale painted enamel ceramic sculptures, as well as new forms of the large-scale painted aluminum pieces for which he is best known.

For the first time, the gallery will also present an interesting ‘peek behind the artist’s curtain’, as several of Gil’s private sketchbooks will be available for viewing. These comprehensive books, featuring hundreds of delightful ink and watercolor drawings, will provide the viewer with a unique window into Gil’s creative process. The extemporaneity of the sketches and Gil’s unique sense of humor & inquisitiveness shines through in these books, providing a refreshing entree into his sculptures.

Gil combines his interest in modern sculpture – namely that of Constantine Brancusi, Jean Arp, and Isamu Noguchi – with a contemporary whimsy as evidenced in the new steel form dipped asphalt pieces loosely influenced by Matthew Barney and Roxy Paine. These new wall mounted and floor pieces are salaciously seductive in form and texture. With intuition that borrows from the natural world, Gil’s passion for form is evident in his distinctive pieces that reflect his freewheeling use of ideas and shapes. Gil’s superb craftsmanship, whereby he hand-fabricates his sculptures, seamlessly blends a classic and playful sensibility with a distinct inventive spontaneity. The works on view will reflect the integration of several of Gil’s interests, resulting in an exhibition that is at once curious, vibrant, and bold in form and color.

Gil was born in San Jose and received his BA from San Jose State University. He has been exhibiting his sculptures since the mid 70s in solo and group shows throughout Northern and Southern California. His work has been featured in several shows in both private and public spaces in the Bay Area, including the San Jose Museum of Art, the Bank of America building in San Francisco, and the Oakland Museum of California at City Center. In 2005, Gil was honored with a prestigious residency in Gäufelden-Nebringen, Germany at Kunststiftung Lutz Ackermann Bildhauer. Additionally, Gil’s work is held in several significant public and private collections including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the San Jose Museum of Art; Oracle Corporation, Belmont, CA; Allergen, Irvine, CA; Yahoo!, Sunnyvale, CA; Saks Fifth Avenue, New York, NY; and the Sydney International Airport, Australia, among many others. His work has been written about and featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, ZYZZYVA, SF Weekly, SF Bay Guardian, Architectural Digest, Artweek,,, and California Art Review.

I draw constantly: sitting at breakfast, always at night, sometimes in front of the TV or just killing time. When the drawings are not pleasing to me, I don’t worry about it. Sometimes things don’t happen the easy way but I just keep drawing and after all these years, eventually something occurs.

I take from my sketchbooks what calls to me and says "make me". The more I visualize the mood or the feeling of a particular piece as well as the process of constructing a new piece the easier it is to build. Sometimes it feels like the pieces build themselves.

This process is like planning a trip, first I’m going here then I’m going there. If I get a bit lost I look at the drawing/map and I get back on track. You will see notes to myself in the sketchbooks detailing the process or steps I imagine that will work to make a successful new piece. Sometimes you have to be brave and trust that the effort will be worth it. Building sculptures has now become more and more entertaining for me with each and every piece. And perhaps generating many spinoffs. The time and place I grew up is reflected in my work. Each one has called to me and jumped off the sketchbook page as if it was real and wanted to be in the world. All my sculptor heroes call out to me and say build this one, or build that one, or this piece needs more work and thought before you make it. Or maybe draw this one again and see it has a soul. Build it and give it a soul so it will survive and live beyond me.

"Variety Pack" means exactly what it says. This is an assortment of what I’ve built in the last year. In style, size, color, medium and theme, I’ve never had a shortage of ideas.

  • For inquiries, please email Heather Marx Art Advisory at H[at]HMxAA[dot]com