Meghan Hildebrand

Pocket Estates

March 9 - 23, 2019
Opening Reception: March 9
1 - 4 PM.
Artist in Attendance

Pocket Estates further explores the influence of place, mystery and nature in Hildebrand's work. In many paintings, Hildebrand shifts perspectives from the cellular to topographic. Within these shifts, Hildebrand incorporates symbols of place and personal history to invite the viewer into her fantastical universe. Ghosts connect to rainbows; dinosaurs evolve out of outer-space, toques soar through the sky, all suggesting you join them on their journey

Pocket estates 54 x 72, Acrylic on canvas

Pocket estates 54 x 72, Acrylic on canvas

All works in this exhibition are subject to Pre-sale
For a full list of works and pricing please contact the gallery.
More works will be visible closer to the opening of the exhibition.

Essay by Theresa Slater MFA.

Pocket Estates is a kaleidoscopic series of acrylic paintings by Canadian artist, Meghan Hildebrand. The title of the series acts as a poetic device to interpret and engage with the symbolic language of this prolific painter. Hildebrand’s current work is built upon multiple containers of narrative - it is explosive; dense; layered; and full to the brim. Remarkably executed, these paintings announce that the universe is a plenitude of things, spirits, and tales.

The underlying principle of the universes as whole and full, allow each piece to represent a singular and complete universe (albeit magical, sensuous, spirit-inhabited, and sometimes post-apocalyptic) that sits within a larger contextual series of contemporary economies and history. Within each painting, an estate; within each estate, a spontaneous colour field whose function transcends ornamentation while offering a fractal effect echoing substantial narration. These expressive ‘pockets’ host meticulously executed characters who are embodied with emotive faces and agency. They have a story tell - it’s your undertaking to hear them.

This analysis positions Hildebrand’s work as maximalist in optical sensation, narration, and artistic procedure. Her amplification and evaluation of modernist abstract tendencies are met with a dizzying array of symbolic efforts and techniques producing work that is sublime in its complexity while maintaining ease in its enjoyment. Unpacking her technical procedure allows for insight into how the work functions contextually.

Pocket Estates expands Hildebrand’s practice by centering atmospheric perspective exemplified in Soundstage (48 x 66, 2019). This new approach to add a shadow line under larger ‘pockets’ of gesture, creates the optical illusion of push and pull between the foreground and background adding tension and interest. Hildebrand uses multiple layers and figures which compete in tension leading the viewer's eye throughout the composition, illuminating a full canvas. Evident in most Maximalist work, Hildebrand's compositions emphasize shape and pattern, with a vibrant colour palette offering some instances of select black moments reminiscent of early expressionists like Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (b. 1880) or Perle Fine (b. 1905). This dimension obscuring use of black is evident in the series namesake, Pocket Estates (48x66, 2019). Hildebrand accentuates optical sensation as her dense compositions focus on the interplay between colour, form, and movement. Hildebrand's Dinner Bell Collector (48 x 66, 2019) positions movement as a key formal element in her series, the flow of logs define a direction for the viewer and the perceptual colour mixing dots add visual dissonance. More is more in her legendary style, allowing for multiple art modes to be activated while utilizing technical knowledge that emphasizes discovery and multiplicity in the narration. The series is held together formally in the repetition of motifs. Many of these motifs are signature marks, indicating the continuous and habitual language of her painting technique.