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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

Zeng Fanzhi, Untitled, 2022 © Zeng Fanzhi

Art Fair

Art Basel Hong Kong 2022

May 27–29, 2022, booth 1C15
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
www.artbasel.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong 2022 with an ensemble of contemporary works by international artists. The gallery’s presentation will feature works by artists including Georg BaselitzLouise BonnetEdmund de WaalUrs FischerKatharina GrosseMark GrotjahnJennifer GuidiSimon HantaïHao LiangDamien HirstThomas HouseagoTetsuya IshidaAlex IsraelEwa JuszkiewiczRick LoweTakashi MurakamiAlbert OehlenNam June PaikGiuseppe PenoneRudolf PolanszkySterling RubyEd RuschaJenny SavilleJim ShawRudolf StingelSpencer SweeneyRachel Whiteread, and Zeng Fanzhi.

Zeng Fanzhi, Untitled, 2022 © Zeng Fanzhi

Gagosian’s booth at Frieze New York 2022. Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

Art Fair

Frieze New York 2022
Albert Oehlen

May 19–22, 2022, booth B8
The Shed, New York
frieze.com

Gagosian is pleased to announce participation in Frieze New York 2022, with a solo presentation of work by Albert Oehlen that shines a light on the commercial nature of life in general and art fairs in particular. The booth will feature a vending machine offering Kafftee/Cofftea, a hybrid coffee/tea beverage developed by Oehlen in collaboration with Aqua Monaco, and four paintings from 2014 that reinforce the presentation’s commercial theme.

Gagosian’s booth at Frieze New York 2022. Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

Gagosian’s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach 2021. Artwork, left to right: © Albert Oehlen; © Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Mary Weatherford. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

Art Fair

Art Basel Miami Beach 2021

December 2–4, 2021, booth D5
Miami Beach Convention Center
artbasel.com

Gagosian is pleased to announce its participation in Art Basel Miami Beach 2021 with a presentation of modern and contemporary works. A selection of these works will also appear on gagosian.com and on Art Basel’s Online Viewing Room.

To receive a pdf with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at inquire@gagosian.com. To attend the fair, purchase tickets at artbasel.com.

Gagosian’s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach 2021. Artwork, left to right: © Albert Oehlen; © Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Mary Weatherford. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

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Museum Exhibitions

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 1997/2005 © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Lothar Schnepf

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Albert Oehlen
“Grandi quadri miei con piccoli quadri di altri”

September 5, 2021–February 20, 2022
Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland
masilugano.ch

In this exhibition, Albert Oehlen: Big Paintings by Me with Small Paintings by Others”, select works from Oehlen’s personal art collection are on view alongside some of his most significant paintings. In staging this large-scale exhibition, Oehlen aims to make relationships perceptible between his artworks and those by artists whose practices he has long admired. Work by Richard Artschwager, Willem de Kooning, Duane Hanson, Mike Kelley, and Franz West, among others, is included.

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 1997/2005 © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Lothar Schnepf

Installation view, The 80s: Art of the Eighties, Albertina Modern, Vienna, October 17, 2021–February 13, 2022. Artwork, left to right: © Jiří Georg Dokoupil, © Hubert Schmalix, © Albert Oehlen. Photo: © Ana Paula Franco/Albertina, Wien 2021

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The 80s
Art of the Eighties

October 17, 2021–February 13, 2022
Albertina Modern, Vienna
www.albertina.at

Some consider the 1980s to be the most important decade for the art of our age. For the first time, art was no longer determined by a dominant style, such as abstraction or Pop, but rather embodied an unprecedented stylistic pluralism that was a hallmark of postmodernism. This exhibition, curated by Albertina Modern director Angela Stief, examines the variety of artistic approaches and strategies that defined the era. Work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Albert Oehlen, Richard Prince, Andy Warhol, and Franz West is included.

Installation view, The 80s: Art of the Eighties, Albertina Modern, Vienna, October 17, 2021–February 13, 2022. Artwork, left to right: © Jiří Georg Dokoupil, © Hubert Schmalix, © Albert Oehlen. Photo: © Ana Paula Franco/Albertina, Wien 2021

Georg Baselitz, B. für Larry (Remix), 2006 © Georg Baselitz

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Wonderland

May 7–September 19, 2021
Albertina Modern, Vienna
www.albertina.at

Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this exhibition features more than a hundred contemporary artworks from the Albertina’s collection organized into seven different “chapters” conceived as independent yet loosely connected “worlds.”  Work by Georg Baselitz, Katharina Grosse, Anselm Kiefer, Roy Lichtenstein, Albert Oehlen, Andy Warhol, and Franz West is included.

Georg Baselitz, B. für Larry (Remix), 2006 © Georg Baselitz

Glenn Brown, Lemon Sunshine, 2001 © Glenn Brown

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00s. Collection Cranford
Les années 2000

October 24, 2020–May 30, 2021
Mo.Co. Contemporary, Montpellier, France
www.moco.art

This exhibition of work from the Cranford Collection, established by Muriel and Freddy Salem in 1999, aims to define the identity of the 2000s by creating a dialogue between one hundred artworks by a multigenerational array of artists who contributed to shaping the beginning of the millennium. Work by Glenn Brown, Damien Hirst, Mike Kelley, Albert Oehlen, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Wall, Franz West, and Christopher Wool is included.

Glenn Brown, Lemon Sunshine, 2001 © Glenn Brown

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Press

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