May 12 - June 30, 2012
Dil Hildebrand : Back to the Drawing Board (Reprise)
With a special presentation in the video room:
Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by Dil Hildebrand. Following his critically acclaimed exhibition at YYZ Artist Outlet in 2011, Back to the Drawing Board (Reprise) features new drawings and canvases that further explore this direction. The gallery is equally pleased to show a video by Internationally renown Cuban artist Glenda León.
DIL HILDEBRAND / GLENDA LEÓN / LINKS / C.V. /
Back to the Drawing Board (Reprise)
Last year I took the opportunity of an exhibition in Toronto to make a series of paintings that I'd had on my mind for some time. The exhibition was called Back to the Drawing Board, and was inspired by a wish to explore a different sort of painting from the deep and atmospheric picturesque style that I had been doing up to that point. While these new paintings did not reject depth entirely, they were relatively flat and minimal. Arranged with grids, dots, and simple geometric shapes, they were devised to attempt a provisional approach to describing visual space, and to resist the temptation to coalesce into transparently recognizable forms. While appearing to be wholly abstract, they were for me indeterminate sketches of images that remained hidden or unfulfilled - diagrams rather than models. Several of the works from that 2011 exhibition - mainly the smallest canvases - appear in this one.
For this exhibition, Back to the Drawing Board (Reprise), I've added to this selection a series of works on paper and canvas that further elaborate this new direction. These newest works play with formal structures that draw from a set of elements around the theme of architectural construction. In the paintings, the structures stand as monuments to the work that went on to create them, their heavily scarred surfaces tracing a broad ranging, palimpsestic course of manufacture. These paintings proceeded without the aid of preliminary studies and found their ultimate form through a dialectic process of marking, erasure and re-marking. The drawings pare down the materials of building to line-like rods, following an arc of creation where each configuration is contingent upon the characteristics of its previous form as the dynamic structure oscillates between a state of destructing and constructing.
A single motif runs throughout the exhibition, which is it's prescriptive palette: the green that appears in these works is meant to evoke the chalkboard, the cutting mat, or the green-screen - surfaces for learning, working out problems, combining ideas and imagining. As a support for operations in general it is a fitting surface for demonstrating a mechanical procedure, which is how I've imagined these works. While they are composed of unscripted actions, they follow a methodological rationale that emphasizes both the optical and tactile qualities of the constructions simultaneously.
A central concern for me in this work is its attitude toward creative action, where the act of building (transforming material) is carried out extemporaneously. In this way, the act of painting or drawing itself runs in parallel with the act of thinking out the problem of how to build the structure at hand, as an equation is drawn out on a chalkboard. I see the two opposing strains within this series - the abstract and the representational - as serving the same research from different ends of the image-making spectrum; somehow, each trying to find its way toward the other. In part, these paintings and drawings are motivated and fuelled by my desire to reconcile the two modes, with a hope that interesting ends will result.
A major essay on this new body of work written by Mary Reid is available online at YYZ.
Born in Winnipeg lives in Montréal. Dil Hildebrand works in a range of media including oil and acrylic paint, and charcoal. Winner of the prestigious Royal Bank of Canada National Painting Competition in 2006, Hildebrand has gained the reputation of being among the most talented Canadian painters of his generation. His work has been featured in major group shows such as 'Between the Cracks" (Oboro), the Beijing Biennale (2010), "Ideas of Landscape 2" (Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal), "Carte Blanche Volume 2: Painting" (MOCCA, Toronto) and "EntreVoir" (Galerie de l'UQAM), curated by Louise Déry. His paintings can be found in important museum, public and corporate collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montreal, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Bank of Montreal, the Royal Bank of Canada, Bennett Jones LLP, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and McCarthy Tétrault LLP.
(click on images below for larger view, please ensure browser pop-up blockers are disabled)
For more available works by Dil Hildebrand please click here.
Marie-Ève Charron. "Plans de travail" Le Devoir June 23, 2012 (in French)
click here to download Dil Hildebrand's recent C.V. (05/2012)
click here to download Glenda León's recent C.V. (05/2010)