Edi Hila (born 1944)
Edi Hila, born in 1944 in the city of Shkodër, Albania, has been associated with Tirana throughout his artistic life. He is the most eminent artist and teacher coming from the country, which has experienced a traumatic history. At the same time, he is one of the artists who define the Eastern European history of art, being one of the last still not fully discovered on the international market of artists from this region. The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw is planning his solo exhibition in 2018. Edi Hila is a painter and draughtsman. During the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha in Albania, he struggled with a lack of creative freedom, and because of his expressive painting, which was contrary to the regime’s doctrine, he was sent to a re-education labour camp. His extraordinary drawings, documenting the everyday life of forced labour, are testimony of this period. Since the 1990s, he has been an inquisitive observer of political transformation, a bitter commentator on social changes in the times of freedom. His works from this period seem to be extremely relevant for the transformational era in the whole of Eastern Europe. Edi Hila’s oeuvre combines the traditional painter’s technique, erudite knowledge of classical iconography with very contemporary themes and methods of their expression. He uses processed digital images as his input material.