Stephen Hutchings: Landscapes for the End of Time

Stephen Hutchings examines eternity in Landscapes for the End of Time, a series that was also set to the haunting music written by Olivier Messiaen while he was a prisoner during World War II.  The eight paintings were developed from digital photographic images, sketched on the computer and then layered on the canvas with charcoal and paint.

(Above: One of the eight paintings, Grove – 8′ x 18′)

“Hutchings has become a digital Impressionist — he embraces new technology to create his work but media/technology is only one of many tools, and the final product, like his images, melds the past and the future into a hybrid whole.” -Glenbow Museum, Calgary

Messiaen’s famous Quartet for the End of Time focused on the biblical reference to the end of time in the Revelation of St. John, but the performance of the music in the prison camp in January, 1941, ultimately led to the release of Messiaen and the other musicians involved.



The art and music of Landscapes for the End of Time are firmly associated with the well-known Glenbow Museum, which has also just released a book that is generating widespread interest at venues such as Art Toronto 2011 and the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization this weekend.

In the summer of 2010, the Gryphon Trio, with clarinettist James Campbell, performed Messiaens’ Quartet for the End of Time while images from Hutchings’ Landscapes were projected behind them. Hutchings’  paintings were matched with the music’s eight movements. Messian’s Quartet is in 8 parts, correlating to the 7 stages in which God is said to have created the earth, the 8th movement representing Eternity.


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