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biography

A Los Angeles native, Hilary Baker grew up among Hollywood's film and music industry professionals. She spent her childhood roaming the hills around her home in the canyons, hunting for animal bones and avoiding the occasional snake. Her subjects, ranging from baseball and wildlife to Los Angeles’ history and architecture, are depicted in her signature graphic style. Known for her dissonant palette, her paintings hint at anxiety and mordant wit with unblinking clarity. In her film short, Ecce Cat, she paid homage to the sinister undercurrents of mid-century animation. Baker’s world is quarried from the strange, poetic, and darkly humorous with the confidence of a painter who is in the game for the long run.

Baker received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her Master of Fine Arts from the Otis Art Institute (now Otis College of Art & Design). She has exhibited throughout the United States and internationally, including The Skulptur Projekt Münster and the Institut Franco-Americain, and has been awarded residencies at the Pont-Aven School of Art, the Ucross Foundation, Art Omi, and the Yaddo and MacDowell art colonies. Her paintings have been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Peripheral Vision, Art and Cake, Artillery and New American Paintings. Her work is included in numerous public collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, the Crocker Art Museum, the Broad Art Foundation, Temple University, and the University of Southern California.

Baker's curatorial projects include organizing the exhibition Archaeology, and co-curating Sexy: Sensual Abstraction in California, 1950’s -1990’s and Blind Courier: 9 Artists and Their Notions of Place. Her work can be seen at r d f a, Los Angeles. She lives in Ojai, California, with her husband, the writer Philip DiGiacomo, in the shadow of the Topatopa Mountains. 


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SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2021 Predators and Other LA Stories, r d f a, Los Angeles, CA
2016 From Where I’m Standing, Harris Gallery, University of La Verne, La Verne, CA
2015 Colossalalia, Offramp Gallery, Pasadena, CA
2011 Sicily, American Institute of Architects Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
    One Work, One Artist (Hilary Baker) One Yellow Wall, Alias Books East, Los Angeles, CA
2010 Arvuli, POST, Los Angeles, CA
2006 Monday, Tuesday, Duende, High Energy Constructs, Los Angeles, CA
2005 What Meets the Eye, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA
2004 Hilary Baker, southern california art projects and exhibitions, Corona del Mar, CA
2003 Look, R.B. Stevenson Gallery, San Diego, CA
2002 Suburbia, R.B. Stevenson Gallery, San Diego, CA
2001 Appearing Nightly, POST, Los Angeles, CA
    Suburbia, Institut Franco-Americain, Rennes, France
2000 Wraith Tracks, R.B. Stevenson Gallery, San Diego, CA
1990 Hilary Baker, Jan Baum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


TWO PERSON EXHIBITIONS

2019 Redux: Flora & Fauna: Hilary Baker and Anthony Pessler, Santora Gallery, Santa Ana College, Santa Ana, CA
2017 Hilary Baker and Russell Davis, Showcase #2, Matrushka Constructions, Los Angeles, CA
2006 Hilary Baker and Amir Fallah, Laband Gallery, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA
2005 EyeBlast: Hilary Baker and Philippa Blair, Cypress College, Cypress, CA
2000 Gestural Maps: Hilary Baker and Philippa Blair, POST, Los Angeles, CA
1990 Hilary Baker and Mineko Grimmer, The Women’s Building, Los Angeles, CA
1983 Hilary Baker and Kathy Hall, Los Angeles Harbor College, Los Angeles, CA


SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2021 Funhouse, r d f a, Los Angeles, CA
    Fummer Sun, r d f a, Los Angeles, CA
    Count Down, El Camino College, Torrance, CA
2020 FUNhouse, LSH_CoLAB, Los Angeles, CA
     Small is Beautiful, Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA
     The Tiny Biennale, Gallery of Art, Temple University, Rome, Italy
2019 Blind Courier, Brand Library Art Gallery, Glendale, CA
    Flora & Fauna, 515 at the Bendix, Los Angeles, CA
    Dream House vs. Punk House (plus Cat House), Serious Topics, Los Angeles, CA
    Valley Girl, Redefined, Brand Library Art Gallery, Glendale, CA
    Critters, Arena One Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
2018 Lazy Susan 5: Human/Nature, LAVA Projects, Alhambra, CA
    The Tiny Biennale, Gallery of Art, Temple University, Rome, Italy
    Interplay: Music and the Escalette Collection, Argyros Forum, Chapman University, Orange, CA
2017 LA Woman, Saatchi Art, Santa Monica, CA
    Not Quite_Underground, Tattoo Parlor, Skulptur Projekte Münster, Münster, Germany
2016 In Which We Dwell, sUgAR Gallery, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AK
    The Emblematic, Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman University, Orange, CA
    Fragments, Santa Ana College, Santa Ana, CA
    BIRDIE Invitational, Coastline College, Newport Beach, CA
2015 Southern California Abstraction Now, Barrett Art Gallery of Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA
    Writ Large, José Drudis-Biada Gallery, Mount St. Mary’s University, Los Angeles, CA
    Yes in My Backyard, Durden and Ray, Los Angeles, CA
    Petraphilia, Fellows of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
2013 Bright Lights and the Void, Michaelkate Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
    MAS Attack, LA Mart, Los Angeles, CA
    Next to Nothing, Coastline College, Newport Beach, CA
2012 Place, PS Zask Gallery, Palos Verdes, CA
    Painting on Edge II, d.e.n. contemporary, Los Angeles, CA
    Either Side of Gray, PS Zask Gallery, Palos Verdes, CA
2011 Ripe Produce, Santora Gallery, Santa Ana College, Santa Ana, CA
    Speak for the Trees, s.c.a.p.e., Corona del Mar, CA; House of Balsamic Academy, Irvine, CA
    Second Nature: Landscape Variations, PS Zask Gallery, Palos Verdes, CA
    Ucross Foundation Retrospective Exhibition, Ucross Foundation Art Gallery, Ucross, WY
2010 Ucross: Twenty-Seven Years of Visual Arts Residencies, Nicolaysen Art Museum, Casper, WY
    Red Dot New York, Andi Campognone Projects, Pomona, CA
2009 Fourth of July One Week Only, Jancar Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
    Project 30, Westminster Elementary School, Venice, CA
    Pairs, Ambient Art Projects, Las Vegas, NV
2008 About Abstraction, Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman University, Orange, CA
    Some Paintings: The Third LA Weekly Annual Biennial, Track 16 Gallery, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA
2007 Black Mirror, High Energy Constructs, Los Angeles, CA
    Hausguests, The Brewery Project, Los Angeles, CA
2005 Looking at Art, Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, CA
2004 Big and Holy, Cartelle Gallery, Marina del Rey, CA
    Lotusland, Cummings Art Center, Connecticut College, New London, CT
2003 Material Girls, Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, NM
    No Chaser, POST, Los Angeles, CA
    Is, Was, Will Be, L’Espace Melanie, Riec-Sur-Belon, France; traveled to Mona Bismarck Foundation, Paris, France
    SoCal Locals, Sabina Lee Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2002 Yo, Flat Files Rendezvous, POST, Los Angeles, CA
    The Group Show, R.B.Stevenson Gallery, San Diego, CA
2001 Mass Appeal, R.B. Stevenson Gallery, San Diego, CA
    The Necessary Beauty, R.B. Stevenson Gallery, San Diego, CA
    100 Percent Rag, POST, Los Angeles, CA
    Hand-painted, Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA
2000 California Color, Institut Franco-Americain, Rennes, France
    Five Painters, R.B. Stevenson gallery, San Diego, CA
1999 Lantern of the East, Pyong Taek City Museum, Pyong Taek, Korea
1998 . . . a few more L.A. Artists (the distaff side), Mirren Gallery, Half Moon Bay, CA
    Illuminated Under White Light: Eight Painters, R.B. Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla, CA
1997 group, R.B. Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla, CA
    Archaeology: Hilary Baker, Steve Galloway, Kevin Wixted, Contemporary Arts Collective, Las Vegas, NV
    Recent Acquisitions of the Achenbach Foundation, 1991–1996, Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA
1996 Diversity of Contemporary Painting, Andrew-Shire Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
    Beyond Boundaries, Bank of America Concourse Gallery, San Francisco, CA
    Field Days, Cerulean Embankments, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MA
    Hilary Baker, Hanna Hannah, Marta Thoma, TERRAIN, San Francisco, CA
1995 Showgirl, Marjorie Barrick Museum, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV
    L.A. Current: Works on Paper, Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
    Oscar Wilde: A Man of Great Importance, TERRAIN, San Francisco, CA
    Four By Nature, Gate Gallery, Angels Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro, CA
1994 Recent Gifts and Purchases: Twentieth Century Drawings, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
    Homage to the Bard, TERRAIN, San Francisco, CA
    The First Ten Years: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Ucross Foundation Gallery, Clearmont, WY
    Sawtelle, domestic setting, Los Angeles, CA
1993 Laughing Matters, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1992 A Room with a View, Ettinger Gallery, Art Institute of Southern California, Laguna Beach, CA
    L.A. Works on Paper, Michael Himovitz Gallery, Sacramento, CA
    Hilary Baker, Jeffrey Mitchell and Paula Matello, Parker/Mark Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
    (basically) Black & White, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA
1990 The Mark, Security Pacific Gallery, South Coast Metro Center, Costa Mesa, CA
    Vistas, John Thomas Gallery, Santa Monica, CA


CATALOGS & BOOKS

Hilary Baker: Predators and Other LA Stories, introduction by Rory Devine, essay by Tucker Neel, interview by Constance Mallinson, 2021
Small is Beautiful, by Constance Mallinson, Irvine Fine Arts Center, 2020
Blind Courier, Brand Library & Art Center, essay by Julia Couzens, 2019
The Fox School of Business Art Collection, Temple University, introduction by Susanna W. Gold, PhD., 2019
Howard Gittis Student Center Art Collection, Temple University, introduction by Rebecca O’Leary, 2018
Interplay: Music and the Escalette Collection, Chapman University, essay by Sam Farmer, 2018
Catamaran Literary Reader, Vol.5, Issue 3, 2017
From Where I’m Standing, University of La Verne, essay by Julia Couzens, 2016
Southern California Abstraction Now, by Jack Chipman, Santa Monica College, 2015
Petraphilia: The Love of Stones, by Richard Turner, Fellows of Contemporary Art, 2015
New American Paintings, Pacific Coast, issue 109, 2013
The Chapman University Collections, Chapman University Press, introductions by Richard Turner and Maggi Owens, 2011
Ucross Foundation Twenty-Seven Years of Visual Arts Residencies, Nicolaysen Art Museum, WY, introduction by Verlyn Klinkenborg, 2010
What Meets the Eye, Loyola Marymount University, essay by Josef Woodard, 2006
EyeBlast: Hilary Baker and Philippa Blair, Cypress College, essay by Alice Hutchison, 2005
Sexy: Sensual Abstraction In California, 1950’s–1990’s, Armory Center for the Arts, essays by John Fitz Gibbon and Pierre Picot, 1996
Laughing Matters, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, essay by Tyler Stallings, 1993
A Room with a View, Art Institute of Southern California, essay by Jim Reed, 1992


TEXT

Meet Hilary Baker: Painter & Tap Dancer, Shoutout LA, May 14, 2020
Mallinson, Constance; The Poetics of Place: Blind Courier at the Brand Library, Art and Cake, August 4, 2019
Wood, Eve; Flora & Fauna, Artillery, April 30, 2019
Dambrot, Shana Nys; Dreamhouse vs. Punk House (plus Cat House), Artillery, April 10, 2019
Wood, Eve; Valley Girl Redefined at the Brand Library, Art and Cake, March 4, 2019
Check Out Hilary Baker's Artwork; Voyage LA, September 3, 2018
Neel, Tucker; Staring into the Eyes of an Animal Other: Hilary Baker's Faux Fauna Paintings, Peripheral Vision, Issue 6, 2017
Inside the Studio: Hilary Baker's paintings reflect her immediate surroundings, Canvas: A Blog by Saatchi Art, July 7, 2017
Brown, Betty Ann; Offramp Gallery, February 4, 2016
Artweek LA, Previews, Hilary Baker: Colossalalia, Vol. 184, November 30, 2015
Kelly, Danielle; Housing New Hope, Las Vegas Weekly, March 19–25, 2009
Lee, Julie Perlin; Chapman University Highlights from the Collection, 2007-2008
Harvey, Doug; Some Paintings, LA Weekly, January 11, 2008
Pagel, David; Around the Galleries: Bridging Cool Pop, Hot Surrealism, Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2006
Frank, Peter; Go, LA Weekly, February 16, 2006
Geer, Suvan; Hilary Baker and Amir Fallah, ArtScene, January 2006
Woodard, Josef; The Eyes Have It, Santa Barbara News-Press, May 27, 2005
Pincus, Robert L.; Super, Natural, San Diego Union-Tribune, August 14, 2003
Pincus, Robert L.; Shapes of Things to Come, San Diego Union-Tribune, February 7, 2002
Frank, Peter; Art Pick of the Week, LA Weekly, March 2, 2001
Pincus, Robert L.; Loops, Swirls and Scrapings, San Diego Union-Tribune, December 7, 2000
Crosby, Gregory; Scope magazine, December 15, 1997
Greiger, Scott; Profile: Hilary Baker, Otis Alumni and Friends, Fall issue, 1996
Pagel, David; Hit-and-Miss Affair In ‘Sexy’ Show, Los Angeles Times, February 16, 1996
Auerback, Lisa Anne; Do Ya Think It’s Sexy?, LA Reader, February 16, 1996
Frank, Peter; At Angels Gate, Four Artists Take their Cue from Mother Nature, Long Beach Press-Telegram, May 21, 1995
Crosby, Gregory; Sexy, Scope Magazine, May, Vol. 4, Issue 2, 1995
O’Brien, Draza Fratto; Do You Think It’s Sexy?, Las Vegas Weekly, April 25, 1995
Kapitanoff, Nancy; Fresh from the Garden, Los Angeles Times, December 23, 1994
Leddy, Pat; But Still No Joke, Artweek, April 18, Vol. 24, No. 7, 1993
Curtis, Cathy; Approaching Their Marks, Los Angeles Times, November 22, 1990
Racza, Tony; The Dimensions of Drawing, Artweek, December 6, Vol. 21, No. 41, 1990
Bulmer, Marge; East Meets West: Hilary Baker and Mineko Grimmer, Artweek, September 20, Vol. 21, No. 30, 1990
Geer, Suvan; Enlarging the Cultural Vocabulary, Los Angeles Times, September 10, 1990
Muchnic, Suzanne; Strange Territory, Los Angeles Times, June 22, 1990


AWARDS

2001   Artist-in-Residence, Pont-Aven School of Art, France
2000 Fellow, Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY
1998 ART/OMI International Arts Center Residency, Ghent, NY
1997 Metro Art Bookmark Project, Los Angeles, CA
1996 MacDowell Fellow, Peterborough, NH
1989 Artist-in-Residence, The Ucross Foundation, Ucross, WY


CURATED PROJECTS

2019 Blind Courier, Brand Library Art Gallery, Glendale, CA (co-curated with Lauren Kasmer)
1997 Archaeology, Contemporary Arts Collective, Las Vegas, NV
1996 Sexy: Sensual Abstraction in California, 1950’s–1990’s, Contemporary Arts Collective, Las Vegas, NV (co-curated with Julia Couzens)
1995 Sexy: Sensual Abstraction in California, 1950’s–1990’s, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA (co-curated with Julia Couzens)
1989 Open Windows Project, Los Angeles Festival’s Open Festival, Santa Monica, CA


PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, CA
Angel and Neistat Corporation, Los Angeles, CA
ART/OMI, Ghent, NY
Crocker Museum, Sacramento, CA
Innovate Partners, Irvine, CA
JVC Industrial America, Inc., San Diego, CA / Mexico
Kanayama Minami Complex, Nagoya, Japan
Kauffman and Broad Corporate Collection, Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
MacDowell, Peterborough, NH
MonteCedro, Altadena, CA
Phyllis and Ross Escalette Permanent Collection of Art, Chapman University, Orange, CA
Pont-Aven School of Art, Pont-Aven, France
Security Pacific National Bank, Eureka, CA
Studley Corporation, Irvine, CA
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
UCLA Medical Arts Program, Los Angeles, CA
Ucross Foundation, Ucross, WY
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA


PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

1996 Guest Lecturer, California State University, Long Beach, CA
1993 Panelist, Conversations with the Artists, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1986 Guest Lecturer, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA
1985 Guest Lecturer, University of California, Irvine, CA
1983 Guest Lecturer, Los Angeles Harbor College, Wilmington, CA


EDUCATION

M.F.A. Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA
Graduate Study, Temple University, Tyler School of Art, Rome, Italy
B.A. University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Lives and works in Ojai, California.