Dr. Peter Lodermeyer about Joachim Hiller

The special thing about Joachim Hiller is that he has been creating his works, thousands of paintings, reliefs, drawings, and watercolors, for nearly four decades now, completely independent and consciously distanced from the art market. Following his studies at the Meisterschule für Kunsthandwerk (Master Trade School for Arts and Crafts) in Berlin in 1953, Hiller worked as a graphics artist and as an art director for many years before deciding to dedicate himself exclusively to his painting in 1969. Remote from the commercial art business, without gallery representation, without taking part in exhibitions, and independent of the ever-changing trends in art, he has always been utterly devoted to further developing his painting with respect to technique and content, and presenting ever new and surprising aspects in his life-long artistic endeavor of researching natural structures.

Free from any pressure to conform, a unique, independent work has come about that is unusually rich in themes and painterly techniques. Hiller has considerably expanded the repertory of what painting can be and may achieve in his drive for exploring, reminiscent of scientific methodology. In order to be able to put structures on canvas that have been taken over from the most varied natural processes in the creation and decomposition of forms (but without merely reproducing these), Hiller has found entirely new methods for applying paint and treating material. Broken relief surfaces, frost figures made of pigment substance, or the application of paint onto canvases crumpled into small surfaces are only a few examples for Hiller’s myriad innovations. With such expansions of painting the artist has succeeded in making a theme of the inexhaustible diversity of natural forces, which still to this very day, according to the teachings of the elements in Antiquity, may be roughly classified into the thematic areas of earth, water, fire, and air. Hiller’s stylistic means are also widely varied, like nature. Departing from a type of painting closely associated with action painting, he broadened his repertory to possibilities void of any dogmatism: Illusionist, spatial effects are just as familiar to him as are tangible material effects. Geometrically-precise structures find a place in his work just as organically-growing accidental forms or serial structures do.

According to his own wishes, Hiller’s paintings, resulting from artistic freedom, scientific curiosity and craftsman-like precision, have been available to the public for the past few years now. The great success and avid interest generated by these works at gallery exhibitions and art fair presentations clearly show that they have not only maintained their relevance and their fascination over the years, but indeed, have even gained in intensity. The formal language of Hiller’s works seem completely modern and up-to-date in the ongoing debate concerning painting’s possibilities today; his topics, not illustrative, but rather structural portrayals of natural processes attest, on the other hand, to timeless relevance. Precisely our relationship to nature as our life basis requires more than merely dealing with it in political, economic, ecologic, and philosophic terms. We need to come to grips with it in artistic terms as well. Joachim Hiller’s work achieves this in an exemplary manner.

Dr. Peter Lodermeyer, Bonn
art historian


Joachim Hiller. born 1933, worked from 1958 until 1962 as a commercial artist in Frankfurt and later as Art Director for several renowned advertising agencies in Frankfurt and Hamburg. 1969 he completely withdrew from the whole agency business and devoted himself only to his artistic work, which means for more than 35 years now. Since then, he created a huge oeuvre which remained mostly in his possession up to now.

During those years, Hiller created a high number of different, but always abstract work groups, which are on one side marked by complete timelessness and on the other side by great modernity. His key subject, the four elements – runs through his work like a thread and finds it´s correspondence in different and surprising techniques. Hiller´s paintings – especially those which appear very graphically – are marked by strong tectonics and astonishing vividness. The composition of form and colour convinces through a great balance between calmness and dynamic.

Through the decades Joachim Hiller devoted himself only to his work, almost without showing his paintings to a public audience. Since May 2006 Galerie Nero presents his work very successfully. His works are shown in museums, at international renowned art fairs all over the world and international cooperating galleries.

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Joachim Hiller, heute
1933 Born in Berlin
1949 bis 1953 Studies at Masterschool for Artcraft (Meisterschule für das Kunsthandwerk), Berlin
1954 bis 1958 Graphic artist in Berlin
1958 bis 1962 Ad illustrator Frankfurt
1963 bis 1968 art director Frankfurt/Hamburg
since 1969 independent painter Wiesbaden
since 2006 represented by Galerie Nero, Wiesbaden