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Wed 16 November 2011 - Sun 5 February 2012
The Art Library presents two graphic artists, Hans Hillmann (born 1925) and Jirí alamoun (born 1935), who have struck a perfect balance between the artificial boundaries between free and commercial art, between comic and caricature, between drawing and image, between written and picture forms. The exhibition's title, borrowed from a book by Hans Hillmann, sets the tone for the entire show. It points towards the theme of metamorphosis and the unexpected and conjures up the imaginative worlds poised between dream and reality, mimesis and illusion, the possible and the impossible.
Both draughtsmen are proponents of two sets of visual strategies that, in their most extreme form, are completely different from each other. In drawing, Hillmann has followed the path leading from reduction to the controlled shaping of details that together form the building blocks of an unusual spectacle. Jiří alamoun, on the other hand, has embarked on the very opposite path. Leaving academic signs behind him, he always looks for the strongest articulation in any given expressive gesture and aims to break with traditional concepts of forms. What the two draughtsmen have in common is a predilection for crime stories in the widest possible sense of the word. Theft, murder and various twists of fate-ranging from strokes of good and bad fortune, acts of misconduct and of contrition-are all depicted with a lively sense of visual humour and slapstick, in the case of Hillmann, in images that follow a film-like plot, and in alamoun in colourful, sprawling picture-story recitations of grim deeds that amount to panoramic 'Moritate' for the modern day. The medium of film has had a huge impact on Hillmann's pictorial language, while alamoun's style of drawing eventually led to him working in film, to be precise in his own self-produced animation films, some of which are on show in the foyer in front of the exhibition itself.