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  • Edi Hila. Painter of Transformation
    24 May - 29 July 2018

    National Gallery of Arts, Tirana Edi Hila. Painter of Transformation 25/05 –  29/07/2018 Curators: Kathrin Rhomberg, Erzen Shkololli, Joanna Mytkowska Loans by Kontakt: Edi Hila: 5 paintings of the series "A tent on the roof of a car" (K712-K716) 18 drawings of the series "The Poultry" (K694-K711) The National Gallery of Arts presents the first retrospective exhibition of Edi Hila in Albania. Edi Hila was born in Shkodra in 1944. He lives and works in Tirana. In addition to his artistic practice, Hila is an influential teacher associated with the University of Arts in Tirana. Educated in Shkodra, a city with ancient beginnings, Hila experimented with forms that ran counter to the realist aesthetics propagated during his studies in the 1960s. In 1972 he painted Planting of Trees, a pleasant picture rendered slightly unreal through the use of color, which because of its departure from the approved socialist realist doctrine, soon became a pretext for ordering him to work in a factory as punishment. But before the communist authorities took offence and doomed his chances for practicing art, he briefly visited Florence in 1973, where he was sent as a promising artist and scenographer for Albanian television. Contact with the Florentine museums and Renaissance painting had a huge impact on Hila. For his departure from socialist realism, Hila was sent to work for three years at a poultry plant where his main task was hauling sacks. In the evenings of 1975-1976 he secretly created a series of drawings called “Poultry”, documenting the life of the workers and harrowing in their raw realism. In the 1990s, seeking a path back to painting, Hila carefully observed life evolving after the fall of the communist regime and tried to depict the realities of the Albanian transformation. The groundbreaking series “Comfort” (1997) captures the insatiable consumer utopia promised to the society. Hila created the series in response to the dramatic crisis caused by the collapse of financial pyramid schemes,which drove the country into chaos. Hila primarily works in series treating a selected theme over several paintings. The most important of Hila’s series include “Paradox” (2000–2005), “Relations” (2002–2014), “Threat” (2003–2009), “Roadside Objects” (2007–2010), “Penthouses” (2013), “Martyrs of the Nation Boulevard” (2015) and “Tent on the Roof of a Car” (2017). The realism of his painting is distinct, based on careful observation of detail, which he exploits to convey the psychological truth of the observed phenomenon. Hila carefully selects the themes for his painting series. In his version, this strips the transformation in Eastern Europe of accident or adventure typical of many presentations of this time, and gives it the weight of distilled general truths, as if he were its final chronicler. One of the reasons for such radical reduction may be Hila’s leaning toward classicism, a fascination with Renaissance sources of painting. It is as if modernism has evaporated from his field of interest. This is why the transformation, in collision with the classical tradition of painting and balance understood in the distant spirit of the Renaissance, conveys so clearly the disruption and attack on harmony and order in Hila’s work. On the other hand, it is rooted in human dilemmas that are hard to conceal, even with a veneer of modernization. Exhibition architecture: Büro Meyer-Grohbrügge A joint project of the National Gallery of Arts in Albania, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and Kontakt Collection in Vienna.

Exhibitions

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Various places, Zagreb
04 November 2016 - 08 May 2017
Curated by What, How & for Whom/WHW in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg

My sweet little lamb (Everything we see could also be otherwise) takes its title from a work by Mladen Stilinović (1947 – 2016), to whom the project is dedicated. Stilinović's life-long anti-systemic approach, his quiet but shrewd rebellion against social conventions and the conventions of art, and an artistic practice that trenchantly and humorously engages with complex themes of ideology, work, money, pain and poverty, inspired a generation of artists worldwide.

The project takes as its point of departure works from the Kontakt Art Collection, based in Vienna and initiated in 2004. Today the collection includes seminal works by a number of the most prominent artists from Central, Eastern and South-East Europe since the 1960s, over the years selected by the members of its advisory committee that includes Silvia Eiblmayr, Georg Schöllhammer, Jiří Ševčík, Branka Stipančić and Adam Szymczyk. As such, it is a crucial source for research pertaining to the art history of the region, but also a suitable starting point to critically approach the very notion of Eastern European Art as a short-hand for the geopolitical paradigm and ideological framework in which it is contained, as well as the mechanisms of filtering local material to international prominence within new circuits of communication, distribution and exchange in the art world that, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, has become internationalised through models not unlike those of corporate internationalism.

The series of exhibitions My sweet little lamb (Everything we see could also be otherwise) will stage an interplay of works from the Kontakt Art Collection with other historical, contemporary, and newly produced pieces that interpret and critically examine the collection. The project will interlace geographically and poetically heterogeneous artistic practices in order to challenge the collection as a finalised and ordered body of knowledge that strives to dislocate the modernist western canon, only to find itself enmeshed in the formation of a "contemporary global canon".

My sweet little lamb (Everything we see could also be otherwise) will unfold in six episodes over several months in Zagreb (November 2016 - May 2017), influencing, contradicting and reinforcing each other, and taking place in a number of smaller art spaces, artists' studios, private apartments and other locations related to artistic production and the broader cultural landscape of the city of Zagreb. The project revisits the endeavours of artists like Geta Brătescu, Stano Filko, Ion Grigorescu, Sanja Iveković, Július Koller, Ewa Partum and Zofia Kulik to make art that subverted the impact of social norms and different degrees of state control, in an attempt to punctuate fixed presentations and interpretations of their work that have been dominating the international art circuits during the last decades with more disorderly and experimental arrangements rooted in the cultural and artistic context of Zagreb.

In times of drastic cuts in the cultural sector and its increasing dependency on private money accumulated as a result of financial speculation that wreaked havoc on social structures, to dedicate the project to Mladen Stilinović also means to rely on one of his typically astute observations: "All the money is dirty, all the money is ours", although there is something less than truthful about claiming to use it as knowingly as Mladen did. And yet, to present the collection in a number of smaller institutional public, semi-public and private spaces in Zagreb, is also a chance to create a manoeuvring space for wider dissemination of the emancipative content of the historical achievements of artists. But most of all, it is a chance to open a playing field in which different criteria of value formation and different genealogies might emerge, in the paradoxical endeavour of simultaneously supplying imaginary solutions and disclosing their impossibility in the current predicament of art and life.


EPISODE ONE
04/11/2016 – 10/12/2016
Booksa, Gallery Nova, Gallery Student Centre, GMK, Sanja Iveković's archive, Softić apartment
Halil Altındere, Heimrad Bäcker, Mária Bartuszová, Geta Brătescu, Dimitrije Bašičević Mangelos, Stano Filko, Oliver Frljić, Ivan Ladislav Galeta, Marcus Geiger, Nina Gojić, Tomislav Gotovac, Ion Grigorescu, Sanja Iveković, Běla Kolářová, Július Koller, Ivan Kožarić, Edward Krasiński, Friedl Kubelka, KwieKulik, Katalin Ladik, Dezső Magyar, Karel Malich, Vlado Martek, Dalibor Martinis, Dora Maurer, Jan Mlčoch, Paul Neagu, Roman Ondák, Goran Petercol, Hans Scheirl, Mladen Stilinović, Petr Štembera, Slaven Tolj, Goran Trbuljak, Wu Tsang…

EPISODE TWO
29/11/2016 – 22/12/2016
Gallery Greta, Gallery VN, Institute Tomislav Gotovac
Geta Brătescu, Anna Daučíková, Tim Etchells, VALIE EXPORT, Tomislav Gotovac, Ion Grigorescu , Tibor Hajas, Nikolay Oleynikov, Ewa Partum, Mladen Stilinović, Artur Żmijewski

EPISODE THREE
15/12/2016 – 04/02/2017
Apartment Softić, Gallery Nova, Pogon - Jedinstvo
BADco., Chto Delat, Keti Chukhrov, Sanja Iveković, Eva Koťátková, KwieKulik, Ashley Hans Scheirl, Mladen Stilinović

EPISODE 4
17/02/2017– 25/03/2017
Apartment Softić, Galerija Nova, Galerija Forum, Institute for Contemporary Art/ICA, Galerija Miroslav Kraljević
Đorđe Andrejević Kun, Josef Dabernig, Ion Grigorescu, Sanja Iveković, Gülsün Karamustafa, Július Koller, Jiří Kovanda, Ivan Kožarić, Vlado Kristl, Katalin Ladik, Kazimir Malevich, Slavko Marić, Vlado Martek, Rabih Mroué, Neša Paripović, Goran Petercol, Marko Ristić, Mladen Stilinović, Sven Stilinović, Goran Trbuljak, Ana Vuzdarić & Marko Gutić Mižimakov

EPISODE 5
17–18/02/2017
Seminar
Zdenka Badovinac, Charles Esche, Reem Fadda, Katalin Ladik, Nikolaj Punjin, Erzen Shkololli, Kate Fowle, Gülsün Karamustafa, Joanna Mytkowska, Manuel Pelmuş, Francoise Vergès, Goran Trbuljak

EPISODE 6
11/04/2017 – 07/05/2017
HDLU, Apartment Softić, Galerija Nova
Paweł Althamer, Mária Bartuszová, Pavel Brăila, Geta Brătescu, Boris Cvjetanović, Josef Dabernig, Marijan Detoni, Stanisław Dróżdż, Nika Dubrovsky, Róza El-Hassan, Miklós Erdély, Tim Etchells, VALIE EXPORT, Stano Filko, Heinz Gappmayr, Tomislav Gotovac, Ion Grigorescu, Tina Gverović & Siniša Ilić, Sanja Iveković, Julije Knifer, Daniel Knorr, Běla Kolářová, Július Koller, Jiří Kovanda, Ivan Kožarić, Edward Krasiński, Paweł Kwiek, Katalin Ladik, Victoria Lomasko, Karel Malich, David Maljković, Dorit Margreiter, Vlado Martek, Dalibor Martinis, Dóra Maurer, Karel Miler, Jan Mlčoch, Paul Neagu, OHO, Roman Ondak, Boris Ondreička / Ján Zavarský / Vít Havránek, Neša Paripović, Cora Pongracz, Nedko Solakov, Margherita Spiluttini, Tamás St. Auby, Mladen Stilinoviċ, Sven Stilinović, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević, Slaven Tolj, Milica Tomić, Goran Trbuljak, Mona Vătămanu & Florin Tudor, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Lois Weinberger, Heimo Zobernig, Želimir Žilnik

EPILOGUE
September 2017
The Showroom, London

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  • Foto: Adam Savoky
  • Foto: Adam Savoky

  • Photo: Květoslava Fulierová




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  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky














  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky




  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Foto: Adam Savoky










  • © National Gallery of Kosovo, Photo: Enver Bylykbashi












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Exhibition Views
  • Photo: Ivan Kuheric
  • Photo: Ivan Kuheric
  • Photo: Ivan Kuheric
  • Photo: Ivan Kuheric