Ewerdt Hilgemann & Diet Sayler in dialogue

06-09-20 > 01-11-20.

Disruption as part of the deal – Ewerdt Hilgemann & Diet Sayler in dialoog pairs two artists who have been working with strictly geometric shapes for decades: Diet Sayler (Timișoara, 1939) and Ewerdt Hilgemann (Witten, 1938). Through the work they had made earlier, both artists discover a form and process in the eighties that appeals to them to such an extent that this forms the foundation of their art for years to come.

For Hilgemann, this takes the shape of ‘imploding’ and therefore disrupting the perfect geometric form of a cube. It is this intervention, this process, in which intuition, force of nature and ratio merge, that continues to absorb Hilgemann even today and that leads to new forms and discoveries again and again: from large, roaring columns to small, slightly distorted cubes he affectionately calls butterflies. The recent and even brand-new works that are on view in Disruption as part of the deal show the exciting new directions his work is taking him.

For Sayler, this takes the shape of his ‘personal’ geometric form, his ‘basic element’, a form he arrived at by removing parts of a grid. The possible variations that this process allows for are endless. Sometimes his basic elements are reminiscent of robots, Tetris blocks, pieces of a Happy Cube puzzle and sometimes they remind you of a fantasy language that is both archaic and futuristic. This recurring element is found in his work ever since: dispersed on large canvases or isolated as a site-specific mural. Disruption as part of the deal shows the diverse possibilities of his basic element in three very different series of paintings, photos and collages from 1980 to the present day.

Hilgemann’s and Sayler’s nearly obsessive focus on the form and process they discovered is the result of a visual investigation both artists have in common: an investigation into the relationship between the personal and the objective, coincidence and control, sequence and individuality, ratio and intuition. This makes for two fascinating and completely different oeuvres.


Special thanks to the initiator and curator of the exhibition Cees Hendrikse.

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