Georg Baselitz + Carl Fredrik Hill
Prologue by David Neuman, director Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall
Georg Baselitz, essay and interview by Donald Kuspit, American art critic and poet
Some Notes on The Study of Hill, essay by Ola Billgren, Swedish artist
Exhibition catalogue no 13
No of pages: 64, color, illustrated
Binding: soft cover
Language: Swedish and English
Publisher: Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall
Available for purchase in our museum entrance for 300 SEK (approx. 30 EUR)
Some Notes on The Study of Hill by Ola Billgren
In the oeuvre that Carl Fredrik Hill left at his death in 1911 drawings occupy a prominent position, beginning with a schoolboy’s pencil studies drawn from nature and finishing with a defeated world conqueror’s high-handed visions, at once its given traditional substratum and its eruptive finale.
In between, a period can be distinguished during which the drawings in conjunction with the oil paintings which they were intended to serve form the storm centre of this remarkable artistic output. The years are 1876 and 1877 and the places before whose features Hill’s artistic activity culminates are, among others, Champagne, Fontainebleau, and Luc. From this period of restless work and roving in the landscape between Paris and the Atlantic coast a few sketchbooks have been preserved whose importance was highlighted recently by Sten Åke Nilsson on the occasion of an exhibition of Hill’s work from 1876 onwards. The contents of the books are primarily sketches for paintings drawn in black crayon on thin paper, a technique which more or less unintentionally resulted in the drawings being copied in reverse on to the back of the page or on the following page, an effect which Hill, always prone to pick up new ideas, seized on when he continued to work on his motif.
With their stereographically duplicated figures and entangled lines the drawings make an uneasy and almost overwrought impression despite the single-minded concentration on a purposeful composition. There is also every reason to make a closer study of the way in which motifs have been intertwined in these sketches and preliminary drawings. Many of them display a deviation from the genre of landscape painting. The wealth of pictorial or verbal notes may not be surprising in itself, but the function of the notes seems often to have been forgotten in favour of something else which appears on paper or in the artist’s mind. The landscape that is presented is composed of manifold visions and has been provided with inscriptions ranging from technical trivialities and high-flown attributions with no distinction being made between the useful and the panegyric. This relative chaos comes as no surprise to those who are familiar with Hill’s work. Inscribing his own work in a glorious context is one of his most basic impulses and his development – which had now reached its last but one stage – is largely about attaining a bardic position which will give him unlimited access to the dimension of the inscription. (…)