CONCURRENT: FIONA ACKERMAN & GREGOR HILTNER
The pairing between Ackerman and Hiltner's abstract paintings are absolutely perfect. The dialogue between the striking works are both emotional, and personal. Fiona and Gregor create a similar edgy atmosphere with their works by concentrating on saturated pigments and linear compositions.
"Dramatic Absurdity: The 1978 Production in Review"
I met Gregor when I was 13 in the shade cast by the mammoth, gothic Cologne Cathedral where I had just performed with a youth choir I was on tour with. The German stranger with a moustache was introduced to me as my father. Later at 19 in Montreal, I was invited to Italy to attend Gregor's summer Painting Academy, a small group of painting students who follow Gregor to Italy for two weeks to eat, drink and breathe painting. That summer, I discovered my life's path, and in the process, I got to know my father. Thus began a long mentorship that taught me how to find my best in art. I know my father through painting, which is also the way I know myself.
Gregor and I have since worked on several projects and exhibitions together in Germany. This is the first time that Gregor and I will exhibit together in Canada. We are currently working on the 5th painting of a long collaborative series of paintings begun in 2012. When conversation is not about art, it's with paint.
Gregor Hiltner is an artist who lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Born in 1950 in Nürnberg, Hiltner studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremburg, (1970-1978) His work has been exhibited in Munich, Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Glasgow, Basel, and New York.
The Great Macabre (Le Grand Macabre) is the title of an Opera by György Ligeti.
It was first performed in Stockholm in 1978, coincidentally the year I was born. György Ligeti's opera Le grand macabre portrays a society on the brink of an apocalypse. The story, taken from Michel de Ghelderode's play of the same name, is inspired by a surrealistic, absurd theatre tradition based on a physical performance style the aim of which is to shake the spectator out of a false theatre illusion and challenge the audience's preconceived perceptions of what theatre can be. The mood of the piece swings between the humorous and the burlesque, the grotesque and the lyrical, in a musical language that both mock and insist on the opera's conventions. The music alternates between references to well-known opera composers, brutal grandiose tones and beautiful melancholic harmonies, before it goes from being an apocalyptic nightmare to conclude by giving new life.
The central subject of the opera is mortality and its central character is Death, in the form of the character Nekrotzar. Set in an imaginary Breughelland, a country derived from Breughel's paintings, the opera shows a drunken common man, Piet the Pot, and the sinister Grand Macabre, Nekrotzar, who appears to announce the coming end of the world to two lovers, Amanda and Amando. Nekrotzar then kills Mescalin, who has desired a more energetic sexual partner than her astrologer husband. She accompanies him and Piet to the palace of the young Prince Go- Go, scene of conflicting politicians.