String Theory – the theory of the smallest elements of the universe – has inspired me since the beginning of the 70’s. At the same time I wondered what the artists around 1900 wanted to say by the spiritual of art. In 1973 I made a shield, “Demonstrator’s Shield for Kandinsky”, if he would like to go out demonstrating – as we did at that time.
In my exhibition in 1997 at SAK in Stockholm I was propagating for Hilma af Klint (please read the interpretation of this by Åsa Wall, below). Now Hilma af Klint and I will have exhibitions in Berlin at the same time. Is it a coincidence or has Hilma arranged this from her painter heaven? If it is Hilma I will see this as a sign of her approval of my exhibition in 1997 and that she is interested in String Theory…
“Hilma was rather like my mum”
Enno Hallek describes himself as an inveterate anti-modernist and was thus completely puzzled when he had a kind of revelation involving the occult painter Hilma af Klint. She urged him to look for the roots of modernism and what the pioneers of the early 20th century were after.
“Why does she turn to me, an old atheist of Baptist parents? Suddenly I realised that Hilma was rather like my mum, who thought that the prodigal son ought to be given a telling-off. Perhaps modernism has been misinterpreted as a sort of industrialism. It’s time to welcome the new century and a newly awakened sectarianism by exploring the modernists’ quest for meaning in light and colour.”
Those were Enno Hallek’s thoughts and the result is on display at an exhibition organised by Sveriges allmänna konstförening in the building of the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts. He screws together fractals, that is, two circular segments of various more or less billowing formations, and then he paints the surface. By employing a concise shape, he is able to concentrate on perfecting the colours. He mounts his mobile art on collapsible metal shop racks. Hallek has not forgotten his late teens in a men’s outfitters in Sölvesborg.
With his brush Hallek looks for that which underlies Kandinsky’s theories in his manifesto Concerning the Spiritual in Art and plays with the contrast that emerges in a mental quest for meaningful colour tones and the original form. Kandinsky has not made him forget his own theory of colours, in which light-blue symbolises the celestial. Enno Hallek may very well be a believer but in an anarchic way.
Svenska Dagbladet, 18 April 1997
English translation: Hans Olsson
The exhibition at Wekstattgalerie where I participate will last from 8th of June until 13th of July.
The exhibition with Hilma af Klint starts June 15th at Hamburger Banhof Museum.
Text about Enno Hallek by Harry Liivrand>>