In the Balkan art scene recently flourished art personalities who build their careers out of the national frontiers, and Albania is a particularly interesting case with artists such as Anri Sala and Adrian Paci. Especially in Tirana – the Albanian capital – where lives and works the artist Edi Hila, who appeared as a central character and one of the most important revelations of painting today thanks to the major international exhibitions he took part.
Edi Hila was born in 1944 in Shkoder and his biography reveals he faced with many difficulties during a more than 20 years period. Accused by authorities to act as a "deviationist" painter, Edi Hila has been banned by the regime in the 70s and forbidden to show his work what forced to work as a docker. In the 90s, the artists painted again and after the downfall regime, he gained the attention of major art curator René Block and Harald Szeeman, who prospected in Albania, and invited Edi Hila to show his painting in important international exhibitions. The works of Edi Hila are each a point of view on a transitional landscape, a context not only political but deeply social. Like all Balkan countries, the transitional state is subconstantial to each detail of the country and of the cities. Showing abandoned modern architectures, the artist reveals their paradoxes with a veil of mystery. Edi Hila also points the business organisation paradigm of Albanian people who create artisanal items they sell through a street micro business. This contemporary world, both Europeen and Balkan but moreover global, is shown on television pictures, street and interior scenes, a world that came to an end, that reinventing itself, that tells about History and that set upside down landscapes perrenity, brutality inflicted but also the singular aspect of each part of this world.
Inviting Edi Hila after Ion Grigorescu, JGM Galerie confirms its second step in the Balkans, with the will to reveal in France singular art characters whose work quality deserve the artworld’s best attention.
Ami Barak, curator of the exhibition