Ewerdt Hilgemann

* 21 02 1938 | Witten

Works by Ewerdt Hilgemann

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Ewerdt Hilgemann
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Vita Ewerdt Hilgemann

1938

Born in Witten, Germany

1958–1959

Studies at the University of Munster, Germany

1959–1961

Werkkunstschule and University of the Saarland, Saarbruecken

1963

Kuenstlersiedlung Asterstein, Koblenz

1964–1967

Scholarships and awards of the Aldegrever Gesellschaft, Muenster; Fritz Berg Stiftung, Hagen; Town of Gelsenkirchen

1967–1970

Lived in Gelsenkirchen, a.o. Kuenstlersiedlung Halfmannshof

1970–1984

Lived in Gorinchem, Netherlands, a.o. Kunstcentrum Badhuis

1975–1984

Studio in Carrara, Italien

1977–1998

Lecturer at the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, Rotterdam

1981–1982

Travels through Europe

1984

Moves to the Netherlands

1998 bis heute

Studio and exhibitions in Los Angeles
Exhibitions in Europe and USA

Ewerdt Hilgemann first began imploding his geometric hollow bodies in 1984. This is effected by withdrawing the air from the inside of these cubic stainless steel objects using a vacuum pump (or sometimes also by emptying the water-filled hollow body) which are then crushed by the external air pressure. Yet the gleaming perfection of the external shell remains intact and generates in the viewer both optical and mental confusion: Although the objects are crumpled, they betray no signs of exterior impact - and yet it is obvious that an enormous force must have been exerted. The imploded work represents the random outcome of a physical process, and explores the issue of beauty and the uniqueness of geometrical imperfection. Commanding an imposing presence, the twisted objects are possessed of a striking aesthetic expressivity - in contrast to their original forms. Hilgemann's prototypes are made of stable, carefully-wrought stainless steel. Its self-generated transformation is no sudden event, but a gradual, yet powerful metamorphosis. Rather than a "happening", the process of implosion is a creative act which manifests itself visibly in the finished art work. Thus Hilgemann's completed implosions occasion us to reflect upon the nature of our existence. Internal transformations initiate external change. The expended energy remains palpable and turns a uniformly perfect serial product into an entirely new entity, imbued with its own history and the fascination of a personal aura.

Text authored and provided by Dr. Eva Müller-Remmert, Art Historian

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