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Albert Oehlen

Albert Oehlen, I 11, 2009 Paper on canvas, 66 15/16 × 90 9/16 inches (170 × 230 cm)© Albert Oehlen

Albert Oehlen, I 11, 2009

Paper on canvas, 66 15/16 × 90 9/16 inches (170 × 230 cm)
© Albert Oehlen

Albert Oehlen, FM 38, 2011 Oil and paper on canvas, 86 ⅝ × 74 13/16 inches (220 × 190 cm)© Albert Oehlen, photo by Mike Bruce

Albert Oehlen, FM 38, 2011

Oil and paper on canvas, 86 ⅝ × 74 13/16 inches (220 × 190 cm)
© Albert Oehlen, photo by Mike Bruce

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2014 Oil on Dibond, 147 ⅝ × 98 7/16 inches (375 × 250 cm)© Albert Oehlen, photo by Lothar Schnepf

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2014

Oil on Dibond, 147 ⅝ × 98 7/16 inches (375 × 250 cm)
© Albert Oehlen, photo by Lothar Schnepf

Albert Oehlen, Untitled (Baum 30), 2015 Oil on Dibond, 118 ⅛ × 78 ¾ inches (300 × 200 cm)© Albert Oehlen, photo by Stuart Burford

Albert Oehlen, Untitled (Baum 30), 2015

Oil on Dibond, 118 ⅛ × 78 ¾ inches (300 × 200 cm)
© Albert Oehlen, photo by Stuart Burford

Albert Oehlen, Untitled (Baum 84), 2016 Oil on dibond, 98 7/16 × 98 7/16 inches (250 × 250 cm)© Albert Oehlen, photo by Stefan Rohner

Albert Oehlen, Untitled (Baum 84), 2016

Oil on dibond, 98 7/16 × 98 7/16 inches (250 × 250 cm)
© Albert Oehlen, photo by Stefan Rohner

About

Qualities that I want to see brought together: delicacy and coarseness, color and vagueness, and, underlying them all, a base note of hysteria.
—Albert Oehlen

Albert Oehlen’s oeuvre is a testament to the innate freedom of the creative act. Through expressionist brushwork, surrealist methodology, and self-conscious amateurism he engages with the history of abstract painting, pushing the basic components of abstraction to new extremes.

Oehlen studied at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg in Germany from 1978 to 1981 and quickly rose to prominence in the Berlin and Cologne art scenes. He came to be associated with the Junge Wilde artists, including Martin Kippenberger and Werner Büttner, who sought to create work that defied categorization and refuted the artistic status quo. Straddling various debates surrounding the nature of painting, Oehlen’s work deconstructed the medium to its constituent elements—color, gesture, motion, and time—and evolved out of constraints he applied to his artistic process. This line of investigation, which Oehlen has continued to pursue in the decades since has resulted in striking variations between—from works that combine abstract and figurative styles, created in response to the Neo-Expressionism of the 1980s, to paintings comprising of grids of colored squares.

As Oehlen began to incorporate new technologies into his work—inkjet printers, computer-aided design programs, and references to the pixelated lines of computer screens—the parameters that he set for himself shifted, offering new obstacles and challenges. Some of these self-imposed “rules” include limiting his palette and combining perambulating black lines with carefully blended gradations (in the Baumbilder [Tree Paintings]), and utilizing erasure and layering to juxtapose bright and muddy colors, as in the Elevator Paintings, a single work in nine parts from 2016. In the late 1990s, Oehlen spray-painted over collaged imagery that had been transferred to canvas with large, industrial printers typically used to create billboards.

Oehlen is perhaps best known for his embrace of “bad” painting. Alongside his many rules, he allows a certain awkwardness or ugliness to enter his work, introducing unsettling gestures, crudely drawn figures, visceral smears of artificial pigments, bold hues, and flesh tones. In this way, he attests to the infinite combinations of form made possible through painting, and shows that these combinations can be manipulated at the artist’s will to produce novel perceptual challenges for the viewer.

Albert Oehlen

Photo: Katherine McMahon

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Acid-Free Los Angeles Art Book Market

Book Fair

Acid-Free Los Angeles Art Book Market 2019

November 1–3, 2019, table A04
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
acid-free.info

Gagosian is pleased to participate in the Acid-Free Los Angeles Art Book Market, organized by a collective of Los Angeles–based independent art book publishers. A platform and marketplace for art books, the three-day event is focused on creating a space for meaningful and sustained conversations around art publishing. In addition to offering an assortment of catalogues associated with Los Angeles, the gallery will be celebrating the release of Piero Manzoni: An Artist’s Life, a biography of the Italian conceptual artist.

Download the full press release (PDF)

Acid-Free Los Angeles Art Book Market

Gagosian at Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées, Paris, 2019

Visit

Gagosian at Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées

Opening reception: Saturday, October 12, 6:30–8pm
October 12–20, 2019
Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées, Paris
galerieslafayettechampselysees.com

In celebration of FIAC in Paris, Gagosian is pleased to collaborate with Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées on a two-floor pop-up takeover featuring products related to Gagosian artists. On the first floor, the Coin Culture section will feature catalogues, posters, apparel, and audio productions. The second floor, the Library, will house an additional selection of limited-edition books, publications, and catalogues raisonnés.

Download the full press release in English (PDF) or French (PDF)

Gagosian at Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées, Paris, 2019

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 1993 © Albert Oehlen

Performance

Albert Oehlen Invites Steamboat Switzerland and Lorenzo Senni

Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 7pm
Serpentine Pavilion, London
www.serpentinegalleries.org

To celebrate the opening of his major solo exhibition at Serpentine Gallery in London, Albert Oehlen has invited the ensemble Steamboat Switzerland and experimental musician Lorenzo Senni to create an evening of music inside the Serpentine Pavilion. To attend the event, purchase tickets at www.serpentinegalleries.org.

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 1993 © Albert Oehlen

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Museum Exhibitions

Chris Burden, Exposing the Foundation of the Museum, 1986 © 2019 Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Squidds and Nunns

On View

The Foundation of the Museum
MOCA’s Collection

Through January 20, 2020
Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles
www.moca.org

To mark the museum’s fortieth anniversary, this exhibition presents a selected topography of artworks that speak to the diversity of MOCA’s collecting over the past four decades. With special emphasis on works associated with the museum’s remarkable history of exhibitions, The Foundation of the Museum: MOCA’s Collection shows the institution’s holdings as shaped by a changing landscape of developments in contemporary art and curatorial focus, as well by as the social and cultural backdrops that inform them. Work by Chris Burden, Mike Kelley, Bruce Nauman, Albert Oehlen, Nancy Rubins, and Ed Ruscha is included.

Chris Burden, Exposing the Foundation of the Museum, 1986 © 2019 Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Squidds and Nunns

Albert Oehlen, Sohn von Hundescheisse, 1999 © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Archive Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin|Paris

On View

Albert Oehlen

Through February 2, 2020
Serpentine Gallery, London
www.serpentinegalleries.org

At the center of this exhibition is an installation that marks the beginning of Albert Oehlen’s process of interpreting the Rothko Chapel in Houston. Oehlen has made four new paintings—of the same scale and size as the four horizontal canvases by Mark Rothko found in the chapel—specifically for the exhibition. A selection of paintings by the artist from the past two decades and a newly configured soundtrack by Steamboat Switzerland are also included.

Albert Oehlen, Sohn von Hundescheisse, 1999 © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Archive Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin|Paris

Installation view, Albert Oehlen: Unfertig, Lokremise, St. Gallen, Switzerland, July 6–November 10, 2019.  Artwork © Albert Oehlen

Closed

Albert Oehlen
Unfertig

July 6–November 10, 2019
Lokremise, St. Gallen, Switzerland
www.lokremise.ch

This exhibition, whose title translates to Unfinished, features a range of works by Albert Oehlen from the 1980s to the present day, including paintings and video. Additionally, Oehlen has created a new site-specific installation, based on an earlier work, for the show.

Installation view, Albert Oehlen: Unfertig, Lokremise, St. Gallen, Switzerland, July 6–November 10, 2019.  Artwork © Albert Oehlen

Albert Oehlen, Paravent 3, 2015 © Albert Oehlen

Closed

Albert Oehlen
Trance

Through September 2019
Aïshti Foundation, Jal el Dib, Lebanon
www.aishtifoundation.com

Trance is a solo exhibition by Albert Oehlen. Oehlen is also curating a group show drawn from both the Aïshti Foundation’s collection and from his personal collection.

Albert Oehlen, Paravent 3, 2015 © Albert Oehlen

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Press

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