Stephen Hutchings: Landscapes for the End of Time

Stephen Hutchings, Roads (Messiaen) #2)

Stephen Hutchings, Abyss, (Messiaen #3), 2010,

This hauntingly beautiful exhibition of eight monumental paintings takes its names from Olivier Messiaen’s (1908-1992) Quartet for the End of Time. Messiaen created his score while interned at a German prison camp in 1940; he and other prisoners first performed it for their fellow captives on January 15, 1941.

Hutching’s paintings are not directly inspired by the score but they relate insofar as the correspondence between the life span of an individual and the idea of eternity. This evocative series of landscape paintings—all produced in 2010—resists identification with any particular historical time or geographic place. Combining historical artistic approaches with new digital technologies, Hutchings is able to create images that meld the past, present, and future into hybrid wholes.

The large works approach life-size on canvases eighteen feet wide and eight feet tall. Together, the works create an environment in the gallery that is at once beckoning, mysterious, and calm. They loom over the viewer, physically and emotionally. They are full of anticipation of something about to be discovered, or encountered just around the bend, or visible beyond the trees in the clearing, or down the road: a felt presence of things unknown or unknowable.

The paintings are accompanied by two videos produced by Hutchings that address the issue of transformation. The music accompanying the videos was composed by the artist’s son Sebastian, an accomplished young composer whose work has been performed in new music festivals in Montreal, Banff, and Calgary.

This exhibition has been organized and circulated by the Glenbow Museum, Calgary. It is complemented by a 160-page catalogue carrying essays by freelance curator and critic Petra Halkes, Director of the Mendel Art Gallery; Vincent Varga; and Mary Reid, former WAG Curator of Contemporary Art and Photography.


Click here to learn more about Stephen Hutchings and the music that inspired this series of artworks.

Sponsored By

  • Wawanesa
  • Canada Council for the Arts

Related Programs & Events

Past Programs & Events

  • Artist Talk with Stephen Hutchings

    Artist Stephen Hutchings talks about the work in the exhibition Stephen Hutchings: Landscapes to the End of Time.

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012 from 12pm to 1pm

  • Artist Talk with Stephen Hutchings

    Artist Stephen Hutchings joins with the Gryphon Trio to celebrate his exhibition Landscapes for the End of Time.

    Friday, May 11, 2012 from 6:30pm to 7pm

  • The Gryphon Trio with James Campbell

    The Gryhpon Trio and James Campbell perform within the exhibition Stephen Hutchings: Landscapes to the End of Time.

    Friday May 11, 2012 at 7:30pm


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