Hildebrandt, from Macro to Micro, at Bromwell's Gallery

Evan Hildebrandt's 12 large Cosmic Rocks (2009-2010) canvases dominate his showing at the Bromwell gallery, where he is also its director.  As per the title, the pieces invoke planets on a black background; their heavily textured surfaces easily recall craters.  Colors tend towards the monochromatic, or complementary hues.  The media appears to be heavy resins and pigments, with other elements such as gold leaf (in some compositions).
But the black backdrop contains no stars, and could just as easily be interpreted as the unlit surround of the round lens of a view through a microscope.   In such a case the works would invoke the closeup of cellular organisms.  The scale of his compositions suddenly shifts from the macro to the micro. (Hildebrandt  mentions this somewhat in his statement.) This interpretative play is one of their strengths; the other is how they rest as a group.

Formally, his work is strongest when the texture is not overly exaggerated (in which case the artist's zeal for it overwhelms the composition).  Some of the Cosmic Rocks pieces have a balance between flat plains and the rich texture; the flat plains allow the eye to rest, and through contrast bring out a greater appreciation of the form.
Other works fill out his space, such as Side View (2009) opposite the Cosmic Rocks.  The texture of Side View has elements united in large swaths, creating a pleasing symmetry.  It is good example of how the strong textures become part of a greater composition.
-A.C. Frabetti

Evan Hildebrandt.  'The Struggle to Become Who We Already Are: New Works at Bromwell's Gallery, 117 W Fourth Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, 513-315-4622.  Gallery hours 9am-5pm Monday through Saturday, or by appointment. Through March 6.
Also featuring a lecture on March 3rd from 7-9pm by Dean Regas, Outreach Astronomer, Cincinnati Observatory Center.
For an installation video of the current show, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShyVQurgNlY.
Photo: Cosmic Rocks 1-12 (2009-2010), mixed media, 60x60in. each.  Photo courtesy of the artist.