Etna myth and reality


‘This exhibition, realised in collaboration with the State Academy of Arts in Dusseldorf, displays 14 large paintings. This was Hoehme’s last work before he resigned from the Dusseldorf Academy, after 24 years of teaching and of stimulating creative activity. Hoehme started to work at his wide paintings in 1981, after previous photographic studies of Mount Etna. The Rimini exhibition is completed with photographs and other works which were born at the same time as that particular pictorial cycle. In his work, Gerhard Hoehme transferred his experience with Mount Etna and his involvement with the meaning of the mountain to ancient mythology. The master is fascinated by the reality of Mount Etna, which is the only active volcano in Europe and still makes people talk about it through small, but intense and destructive, eruptions. These eruptions highlight the distance of man and strip bare man’s impotence before the raging forces of nature. At the same time the unique scenery, the bizarre formations of the lava flows and the chromati-city of the stones exert on Hoehme a powerful attractive force. Furthermore he is interested in the meaning that ancient mythology gives to this mountain: the philosopher Plato is said to have travelled to Sicily for the first time around 388-387 BC, just to climb the Etna and get an idea of this volcano. Descriptions of this mountain can be dated back to even further distant times; this mountain was for the ancient something more than the workshop of the Efests and their assistants, the Cyclops. It was Zeus himself who buried under this mountain the giants Tiphon and Enkelados, after having fought a strenuous fight. Legend has it that even the Greek philosopher Empedocles found his death in one of the craters in 430 BC. Hoehme has transferred in his penetrating paintings both the reality that he himself visually lived in the scenery of Etna and his knowledge of the mythology about the mountain. Whoever looks at these paintings can grasp the link between the artist, the visible reality and the intangible; this is true for the individual painting as well as the entire cycle.’


24 Agosto 1985 - 31 Agosto 1985


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions