“My sculptures are bodies, exposed to pressure and movements.” – Eva Hild.
Perforated coils, ovoid folds, concave, pulled and stretched spherical surfaces are the features that define the work of a contemporary Swedish sculptor Eva Hild. The artist’s work was recently part of a group exhibition at Nancy Margolis Gallery in Chelsea. What stood out about Hild’s work was the fragility of her surfaces and the simultaneous sense of strength emanating from the delicate white curvatures of her sculptures. Many recall organic yet clearly “abstract” skeletal forms.
Since choice of material is as important in sculpture as it is in painting or drawing, here too you try to decipher what the forms are made of as material give us an idea of the object’s weight. Is it resin or marble, stone, an alloy, painted metal or clay?
In Eva Hild’s ceramic sculptures movement is the defining feature. We view each surface at a different rate of speed and that rate is determined by the depth, angle and severity of each curvature. Some appear calm and allow a longer period of concentration – think of water in a slow moving river; and some, like her dark brown coils, force you to move faster across their surfaces, like in a fast and determined stream. The beauty lies in approaching each sculpture from a different angle and finding the right rhythm for each work.
In our interview with Nancy Margolis, Owner of Nancy Margolis Gallery in Chelsea, we discovered that the artist connects with these clay sculptures at a very deep, emotional level. Quoting Ms. Margolis, “I think it all is very much something that comes from inside her”. Hild wrote this about her process:
The process is based on hand-building and I work on each piece during an extended period of time. The shape grows gradually and I have time to reflect. I can change direction, make connections and have a smooth surface with the same thickness. When the form is ready and the clay is dry, I sand away at the surface. The pieces are fired twice and finally treated with various paints and pigments.
Whether the sculptures have been created to show exterior vs. the interior form it is entirely a matter of perspective. What is yours?
Nancy Margolis: Eva Hild lives in Sweden in a small town called Boras and she makes these amazing black and white sculptures out of clay. She did not start out as an artist. She started out as a physical therapist and studied that. She took a clay course and just connected with the medium. She builds the sculptures with coils. The clay is soft and so she can’t continue to just build and build and build. She has to stop at the beginning. Maybe just do three rows and let it get firm. The beautiful white pieces, they are so elegant and ethereal. I think with dark pieces, it’s a very rich, deep dark brown. And that work has a deep emotional feeling to them. Antony Gormley was another person that she mentions. But she said they did not influence her work. She was inspired by them. I never heard her mention “Oh I was influenced by this person”. It was an inspiration. You know, she is very ambitious. I think it all is very much something that comes from inside her.