NEW YORK, NY.-
Gregor Hildebrandt uses audio as visual material. His work uses outmoded analogue recording technologiesthe magnetic tape of cassettes, vinyl recordsto create pieces that point beyond their sleek, reflective surfaces. Contemplating a work by Hildebrandt is a synaesethetic experience, as audio takes physical form. For his show at Perrotin
, his 5th with the gallery, he has a created a labyrinth of panels made with various media.
Hildebrandts interest in magnetic tape extends beyond its visual potential. His selection of the recordings contained therein is as carefully intended. The artist himself is inextricably at the center of his work; it documents his musical tastes as much as his lived experiences, given musics associative power. A viewers familiarity with a recording used by Hildebrandt, something a works title might give away, affords an experience of the piece beyond its visual impact.
There is a kind of embedding that occurs in Hildebrandts workof music, of course, but also of Hildebrandts own history with that music. Though the works have the appearance of blanknessblack, white, and silvery tones dominatethey are rich, and multilayered with histories both cultural and personal. This, however, is subtextual and separate from the formal merits of his work, as magnetic tapes weave in and out, to and fro, in an impressive show of arachnid handiwork.
Hildebrandts magnetic tape works are a postmodern exercise in that they combine and and recombine known fragments. Though his works are allusive, they dont over-rely on their source material and are shrouded in a mystery that is a product of their encrypted material. His stark minimalist aesthetic belies a kind of built in nostalgia that is natural of works that are an homage to a thing loved, albeit a tacit one. (Other works by Hildebrandt wear their nostalgic streak right on their sleeve, as in his series of photos of Hollywood movie stars seen through a Saul Leiterinspired rain speckled lens.)
The infinite musical variety contained in Hildebrandts work doesnt seem to perturb the relative consistency of its physical form, magnetic ribbons woven in intricate patterns. Sleek surfaces, stark forms, and a restrained color palate make Hildebrandts work instantly recognizable for its graphic sensibility. His preference for black recalls Ad Reinhardts interest in the seemingly interminable range of that color, as well as Wade Guytons shared exploration of reproduction technologies, to name a contemporary of Hildebrandts.
For this exhibition at Perrotin, Hildebrant has envisioned a total environment. Works take on architectural proportions, acting as a series of screens that organize the space and determine how the viewer moves throughout it. Here, Hildebrandts experiments in the visual form of music are amplified, as the viewer is enveloped in a mute musical fabric.
Gregor Hildebrandt (born 1974 in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Germany) lives and works in Berlin and Munich. He is professor of Painting and Graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich since 2015. His works are present in renowned collections, such as the collection of Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Contemporary Art Collection of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Yuz Museumss collection in Shanghai, the Martin Z. Margulies Collection and the Rubell Family Collection in Miami and the Burger Collection in Hong Kong. Hildebrandt will have a solo show at the Kunsthalle Recklinghausen this fall.