Carl Grauer

I am inspired to paint; whether it beast or being, or landscape or still life. I enjoy painting the human figure. By painting the human figure, I explore the construction of identity. It is the rendering a sense of the particular individual identity and presence that has been my preoccupation. To capture those singular moments when in a scene with the presence of a sitter while time seems to stand still yet pass so quickly is my bliss. My object is to capture the plains on the face, the values that fall across these plains and how all the shapes connect and relate to each other. All these variables eventually come together and a likeness appears, but not by that singular goal to capture what the person or scene looks like but by the observation of all the pieces that surround and contain the subject. This intense observation becomes a meditation through concentration that feeds my eyes, brain and soul.

After a childhood in the rural community of Wilson, Kansas and training in art and biology, I completed an MFA in Medical & Biological Illustration from the University of Michigan. Further work in traditional portraiture and explorations were made whilst living in London through traditional atelier study at London Atelier of Representational Art. I currently live and work in the picturesque town of Beacon, NY in the Hudson Valley.

Photo of Carl Grauer

The Lavender Temple of Their Most Fabulous


Recollections, a series that plays with the tension between memories, the “return to home”, and the actual experienced past, is an idea that I explore through the renderings of the family unit. Nostalgia comes from the Greek word nostos, meaning “to return to home” and algos, meaning “pain”. Before the rise of pathological anatomy and bacteriology made it less credible, medically; nostalgia was considered a “disorder of the imagination. Through time, nostalgia’s meaning became a more generalized reaction to the sad fact that, unlike space, time cannot be returned. I initially began with source imagery of found slides and photos of people I find at flea markets, second hand stores or from my own family’s collection. I take the source imagery and change elements to signify specific moments that could be seen as memories that are remembered or forgotten. I aim to represent nostalgic scenes that may relay a tension, sorrow or humor that could be constructed memories or actual experienced events. The exact narrative may be forgotten or unknown, but the complex projection of an idealized story that I find intriguing may serve to reflect a feeling or memory for another person.

Additional Work





1975 Born in Wilson, Kansas, USA


1998 Bachelor of Arts – University of Kansas

2000 Mastor of Fine Arts – University of Michigan

2015 Portrait and Figure Painting – London Atelier of Representational Art


2016 "Petit: A Group Exhibition of Smaller Sized Art", Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY

"Strange Figurations", Limner Gallery, Hudson, NY

"SalmagundiClub Annual Non-Members Painting and Sculpture Exhibition", New York, NY

"Recollections", Point Gallery, Denver, CO

"Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition", Mall Galleries, London, UK

"Being Her Now: Feminine Identity in the 21st Century", Salisbury University Gallery, Salisbury, MD

2015 "Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition", Mall Galleries, London, UK

"The Wells Art Contemporary Awards Shortlist", Wells & Mendip Museum, Wells Somerset, UK

"The Other Art Fair", London, UK

2014 "SATURNALIA", Sweet ‘ART, London, UK

"The OtherArt Fair", London, UK

"SEAMS", Sweet ‘Art, London, UK

2013 "SONYA Prelude Exhibition", Free Candy, Brooklyn, NY

2012 "Blue", Rising ArtsGallery, Brooklyn, NY

"Recollections: Contemporary Portraits & Life Renderings", GooseBarnacle, Brooklyn, NY

2011 "Free Parking", RePOP, Brooklyn, NY

2008 "Family Matter", RePOP, Brooklyn, NY

2005 "Prodigal Suns", Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Opie Gallery, Kansas City, MO

"Juried Exhibition", Images Gallery, Kansas City, MO

2004 "The Kansas Group", APARTMENT Pop-up Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2003 "Explorations of Prodigal Suns", APARTMENT Pop-up Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2000 "Skin Deep", JJBrookings Gallery, San Francisco, CA

"MFA Graduate Exhibit", Rackham Galleries, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI