In the series “Penthouses,” Edi Hila examines the architecture of single-family houses, a common feature of the Albanian landscape. Monumental structures on concrete foundations illustrate the social imagination of an architecture richly embellished with arches, façades and pilasters. For the painter, these structures are a hallmark of modernity transformed into monuments.
Hila vests the buildings he paints with new meaning. “Their shape is affected not only by modernity but also by history—the history of a society forced to live in isolation, uncertainty, fear, and the constant need to seek shelter. The houses presented in these paintings thus become imaginary constructs testifying to the expanded individualism of the society on a path from dictatorship to capitalism.” (Edi Hila, from an interview with Johan Anrys.)