Gregor Hildebrandt
Worte ohne Lieder
10.Jun–22.Sep 2023
Grieder Contemporary, Zurich

Grieder Contemporary is pleased to announce the third solo exhibition of German artist Gregor Hildebrandt titled "Worte ohne Lieder".
For his first exhibition in the gallery's new space, the artist has created a work consisting of six monumental cassette tape collages, featuring motifs from the Mendelssohn Bartholdy Park subway station in Berlin. The subway station, designed as a glass structure, had its windows integrated into a newly constructed architecture, partially losing their function. Three of these glass motifs, encountered by Hildebrandt during his travels in Berlin and used for his collages, depict various elements from nature transferred onto six large-scale canvases: gingko leaves, a hummingbird, and a butterfly appear in black and white inverted as two images each. The six cassette tape collages fill the L-shaped gallery space like billboards in a subway tunnel. Using the rip-off technique developed by the artist, positive and negative elements play with oppositions and redundancies, creating a strong lyrical connotation.
The exhibition's title, “Worte ohne Lieder” (Words without Songs), is adapted from Mendelssohn Bartholdy's cycle “Lied ohne Worte” (Songs without Words), composed over several years. Gregor Hildebrandt's poetic approach directly refers to these songs, which he recorded on the cassette tapes and applied to the surfaces of his six collages. Known for his use of audio and video cassette tapes, as well as his paintings and installations made from vinyl records, Hildebrandt here plays with his penchant for mutual complements and oppositions. In the exhibition space with its minimalist architecture, he creates a universe with its own logic, and endowed with an invisible dimension that directly appeals to the viewers' imagination.
Visitors are welcomed by a large bronze sculpture in the garden. The elegant and enigmatic piece is titled "Der Zug" (2022) and belongs to a series of large-scale sculptures where chess pawns are exponentially enlarged, becoming independent sculptures with abstract geometric volumes. Since his paintings and the installation „Das Schachspiel“, created in 2008, chess has frequently appeared in Hildebrandt's work, often through the direct use of chessboards or pawns. The chess pawn represents the most important figure of the game for the artist.