"In Carmen Hiller's work, clarity, lightness and transparency are central. With her reduced and discreet compositions she achieves a high state of tension and at the same time the impression of great calm.
For Carmen Hillers, condensation is an important concept, which is why she repeatedly turns to the small format. She works over longer periods of time on groups of works with different emphases. Sometimes improvisation is in the foreground, sometimes the penetrated, pointed composition in a very concentrated form. Beyond compositional work on a single image, her interest is in formally relating multiplicities, preferably in through-composed wall installations or tableaux.
In her search for forms, she is concerned with the points of contact between language, music and art. Spontaneous drawings created during concert visits are important impulses for her works.
The sonority of her pictorial compositions has inspired the Hamburg composer Steffen Wolf to write quite a few musical compositions. In 2015 his LP "Acht Blicke auf Mondenschein - Kompositionen zu Bildern von Carmen Hillers" was released.
|1957||born in Hamburg, lives as a freelance artist and author in Hamburg|
|seit 1989||Exhibitions in galleries, art associations, museums and other places|
|seit 2005||Features and musical performances|
|2009||Invitation of the Schubert Society of the USA to participate in the research project " Picturing Winterreise - Schubert's Song Cycle in Art".|
|2009-2013||Art/Music- Features at the Hamburger Kunsthalle|
|2015||the LP of the Hamburg composer Steffen Wolf was published, Acht Blicke auf Mondenschein - Kompositionen zu Bildern von Carmen Hillers|
Ausstellungen und Ausstellungsbeteiligungen (Auswahl)
|2020||to quiet the mind, Elbschlossresidenz Hamburg (E)|
|2020||Leidenschaft Kunst, Kunstforum der GEDOK, Hamburg|
|2019||Linie I Poesie, Galerie Fenna Wehlau (G)|
|2019||on the bright side, SHOWROOM Hamburger Kreativgesellschaft|
|2019||Multidimensionality, AZARRO ART SPACE Hafencity Hamburg|
Mutter.form, BBK Hamburg (G)
Kunstverein Elmshorn (G)
Galerie der GEDOK, Hamburg (G)
LIAISON, Galerie Fenna Wehlau, München
|2017||SECRET CONCERTS, HIT-Technopark, Sammlung Birkel, Hamburg|
|2017||DIE WINTERREISE, GemeindeAkademie Blankenese, Hamburg|
|2016||ART Innsbruck, Galerie Fenna Wehlau|
|2016||Einzelausstellung GEDOK, Hamburg|
|2015||Acht Blicke auf Mondenschein, GemeindeAkademie Blankenese (E)|
|Serie, Kunstforum der Gedok, Hamburg (G)|
|2014||Internationale Art Exhibition CASO, Osaka, Japan (G)|
|Vom Wasser, GemeindeAkamemie Blankenese (E)|
|2012||Galerie Stella A, Berlin (G)|
|Künstlerhaus einseins, Hamburg (G)|
|2010||Kunstmaand Ameland, Niederlande (G)|
|2009||Kunstverein Lüneburg (E)|
|Was ist wichtig, Kunsthaus Hamburg (G)|
|Rathaus Duderstadt (E)|
|2008||Galerie Andreas Jacobi, Hamburg (G)|
|2007||Winterreise, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Veranstaltungsraum (E)|
|Die Rückseite des Mondes, Kunsthaus Hamburg|
|Galerie Vorortost, Leipzig|
|2006||Heine!, Ausstellungsraum, Steiner-Haus, Hamburg (E)|
|2004||Kunstverein Haren (E)|
|2003||Kunstkreis Schenefeld (E)|
|2002||Schloss Lüttgenhof, Dassow, Sammlung Stinnes|
|2000||Galerie Bodek, Hannover (E)|
|1999||Wahlverwandtschaften, Kunstverein Stade|
|Ankäufe:||Sammlung Birkel, Sammlung Katharina Stinnes, private Sammlungen|
How did you experience art classes during your school years? Did it motivate you to go in this direction?(Why did you want to become a painter?)
I had good art lessons! I liked both teachers very much, painting played a big role in art lessons, the use of colors in general.
They were always double lessons - great; highlights of the schedule. We also made short films and went outside. It was a very permissive atmosphere; actually, the only lessons in school where the teacher-student relationship was a very enlightened one.
|Luisa Gorihsen||When did you paint your first picture, which was also exhibited? What was its name? Do you still like it?|
I actually have a rather unsentimental relationship to my works, regardless of the period. There were several paintings from the first period that were exhibited, and I have an ambivalent relationship to some of them today. From time to time, I get the urge to let works whose quality I would doubt from today's point of view, jump over the blade. And so paintings have been destroyed several times. I'm not sure if it would be more correct to document my artistic history without gaps. Rather I tend to "clean up" and question again and again. This also seems logical to me and has to do with development.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
|Luisa Gorihsen||Do you have a favorite color(s)?|
Did you have them as a child or develop them through painting?
|Carmen Hillers||As a child I loved red; as a teenager yellow and today I am very attracted to shades of blue. Blue is such an intimate color for me, which means mental freedom, vastness, subtlety, a lot of space for nuances, distance, calmness, also a certain form of security and being unmolested.|
|Luisa Gorihsen||How did you come to the Fenna Wehlau Gallery?|
|Carmen Hillers||Ein Künstlerfreund empfahl mich an die Galerie, für die Frau Wehlau in den 1990er-Jahren arbeitete. – was für ein Glück!|
|Luisa Gorihsen||An artist friend recommended me to the gallery Ms. Wehlau worked for in the 1990s. - what luck!|
|Carmen Hillers||Trust and respect and a personal relationship - and that you can laugh together.|
|Luisa Gorihsen||I read that you are also a writer. What kind of literature do you write and how does it influence your paintings?|
|Carmen Hillers||I write about music in the broadest sense, including texts and features at the seams of art, music and literature. My images are not influenced by my text. That is a completely different way of working.|
|Luisa Gorihsen||You use painting, language and music together. What connects these 3 forms of expression in your eyes? What separates them?|
The separation is of course given by the respective means of expression and media. What connects them is what is actually interesting. That's a very good question for an essay over several pages. There is a very beautiful quote by Philipp Otto Runge that says it all: "Music, after all, is always what we call harmony and tranquility in all three arts. So there must be music in a beautiful poem through words, just as there must be music in a beautiful picture, and in a beautiful building, or in any ideas expressed through lines."
|Luisa Gorihsen||You work a lot with abstract forms. What is the attraction of the abstract for you?|
|Carmen Hillers||First, of course, the desire to see something that was not there before. Not imitating what is visible. Finding my way in the unknown. Trusting that I'm doing the right thing, always making decisions that - sometimes yes, sometimes no - lead me to work that I can say "yes" to.|
|Luisa Gorihsen||What do you hope the viewer of your works will do?|
|Carmen Hillers||That they have joy in it!|
In the book "Liaison" you have chosen 12 thoughts from writers of very different eras: E.g. Louise Bourgeois: "The first thing I need for work is the quality of silence". Is this your approach to your creative process?
What does silence mean to you?
|Carmen Hillers||Calm, collection, concentration.|
|Luisa Gorihsen||Do you think about how one of your works should look like or do you paint spontaneously and let your feelings and/or music or poems guide you?|
|Carmen Hillers||I even think about it a lot when I start with a picture, but I always have to be prepared for the fact that everything can turn out quite differently. That's what it comes down to, to remain open to the course and outcome of the work process.|
|Luisa Gorihsen||In your favorite book selection, I came across a "Wabi-Sabi" book. What inspires you about "Wabi-Sabi"? What does it mean to you?|
|Carmen Hillers||WabiSabi - to make it very short here - means for me a very humanistic and attentive attitude. Little appearance - much being; calmness, concentration, humility and a very, very wide view in all directions at the same time.|
|Luisa Gorihsen||In a conversation with Fenna Wehlau, you once said that you like to depict what can't be seen and isn't known. In your favorite book selection, too, the main characters usually want to plunge into something new or discover something new. Do you strive for the uncertain in your life and do you consciously want to depict this in your works?|
|Carmen Hillers||To strive for the uncertain - I could not necessarily claim that it would be my life maxim. Rather, not to commit oneself too much (where it is not necessary), to remain open, to stand by one's own nature and not to adapt unreflectively. As an artist, you have to have a certain willingness to be renitent and radical if you're serious about art.|
|Luisa Gorihsen||The poems and the music for the exhibition "Liaison" in combination with your works let me find peace. Is that your intention?|
|Luisa Gorihsen||What do you like about Heinrich Heine's poems?|
|Carmen Hillers||They are funny, smart, refreshing, deeply sad, critical, sometimes nasty (where it belongs), fed by an uncorruptible spirit.|
|Luisa Gorihsen||What advice would you give young people about art?|
|Carmen Hillers||Look at and experience as much art as possible - but please do not take the market too seriously - rather: form your own judgment. Living with art in any case.|
|Luisa Gorihsen||Thank you for the interview|