It begins, it has an end, this is what you will come back to, this is your hand, 2015, oil and
acrylic on canvas, 121.9 x 91.4 cm (48" x 36")
March 19 - April 25, 2015
A few good words that still work, and the tide
Opening Thursday March 19th from 5pm to 7:30pm
372 Ste-Catherine West suite 216
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
photo credit : Guy L'Heureux
A few good words that still work, and the tide
A few good words that still work, and the tide represents a synthesis of Dil Hildebrand's two previous series. Alternately flat and spacious, this new hybrid body of work examines the artist's ongoing interest in architecture and painting from a new angle.
“The title of the exhibition is taken from a poem by Margaret Atwood*, in which the poet lists the accoutrements of her trade, adding finally "a few good words that still work, and the tide". Equipped with shopworn tools, the poet aspires to sail upon new shores, but reflects that to do so she must ride the mercurial tide of chance; an apt description of the creative challenge. A number of other motifs also resonate throughout Atwood's poetry. Anxiety, ordeals of the creative process, the relationship between the artist and her audience, and dark passageways - all of which figure strongly with Atwood - are important themes in this exhibition. Each painting here takes for its title an excerpt from an Atwood poem.
Resembling windows, doors, vitrines and porticos, the canvases in this exhibition disclose narrow, inner spaces and richly textured surfaces that point to each painting's long process of manufacture. Using abstract formations, the artist builds architectonic works that invite the beholder in while not offering compositions that feel safe or secure to enter. Diverse sources of influence can be found in this work - Dutch doorkijkje painting, modern architecture, and Matisse all appear in various guises throughout the exhibition.
While the word passage refers to a segment of prose or poetry, it also has rich meaning within the language of painting; passageways are products of architectural patterning, apertures for looking, symbols of ambivalence, and locations of movement between states of being. They are also sites that join the sphere of production with those of consumption and so act as an exchange point between the artist and his audience. In the case of the guillotine, passageways are also machines for dismemberment. In Gothic novels, thresholds are often a location of suspense, delirium and strange visions. A few good words that still work, and the tide is a study of what happens at these lawless, liminal spaces; the work of the poet and the painter, bobbing about at the mercy of a chaotic tide.”
- Dil Hildebrand
*True Stories, 1981
Dil Hildebrand was born in Winnipeg and obtained his MFA at Concordia University in 2008. National winner of the RBC Painting Competition in 2006. Hildebrand has participated in numerous exhibitions including the 4th Beijing International Art Biennale (2010), "Back to the Drawing Board" at YYZ Toronto (2011), "The Builders" at the National Gallery of Canada Biennial (2012), "Re-configuring Abstraction" at the Manitoba University School of Art Gallery (2013), "Le Projet Peinture" at Galerie de l'UQAM (2013), "Shape Shifters" at the Herron Galleries of the University of Indiana (2013), "Young Canadian Painters" at Cambridge Galleries (2014), "La Beauté du geste" at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (2014) and "Land-reform(ed)" at the Canada Council Ajagemô Gallery (2014). His work has been collected by major public institutions throughout Canada, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Bank of the Canada Council and in several corporate collections including the RBC Royal Bank, the Bank of Montreal, TD Canada Trust, Caisse de dépôt et placement, Bennett Jones LLP, Ernst and Young, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and McCarthy Tétrault LLP among others. In 2016, he will have a solo exhibition at Plein Sud in Longueil.
A hand enters the screen and removes sheets of paper one at a time. This action continues in a seemingly infinite manner, without beginning or end. This work is an excerpt from the three-channel video installation, The Sirens.
Nelson Henricks was born in Bow Island, Alberta and is a graduate of the Alberta College of Art (1986). He moved to Montréal in 1991, where he received a BFA from Concordia University (1994). A musician, writer, curator and artist, Henricks is best known for his videotapes and video installations, which have been exhibited worldwide. A focus on his video work was presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as part of the Video Viewpoints series in 2000. A mid-career retrospective of his work was presented at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery in Montréal in 2010. Henricks was the recipient of the Bell Canada Award in Video Art in 2002 and received the Board of Governors’ Alumni Award of Excellence from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2005. Henricks’ work is in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, and the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery. He lives and works in Montréal, where he is currently completing a PhD at Université du Québec à Montréal and will be presenting a solo exhibition at Dazibao, "A Lecture on Art" (30 April - 30 June 2015).