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Albert Oehlen

New Paintings

June 6–July 18, 2014
Beverly Hills

Installation video Artwork © Albert Oehlen

Installation video

Artwork © Albert Oehlen

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio

Works Exhibited

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2014 Oil on Dibond, 147 ⅝ × 98 ½ inches (375 × 250 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Lothar Schnepf

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2014

Oil on Dibond, 147 ⅝ × 98 ½ inches (375 × 250 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Lothar Schnepf

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2014 Oil on Dibond, 147 ⅝ × 98 ½ inches (375 × 250 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Lothar Schnepf

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2014

Oil on Dibond, 147 ⅝ × 98 ½ inches (375 × 250 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Lothar Schnepf

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2014 Oil on Dibond, 147 ⅝ × 98 ½ inches (375 × 250 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Lothar Schnepf

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2014

Oil on Dibond, 147 ⅝ × 98 ½ inches (375 × 250 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Lothar Schnepf

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2014 Oil and paper on canvas, 90 ⅝ × 106 ⅜ inches (230 × 270 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Lothar Schnepf

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2014

Oil and paper on canvas, 90 ⅝ × 106 ⅜ inches (230 × 270 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Lothar Schnepf

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2012 Oil and paper on canvas, 70 ⅞ × 90 ⅝ inches (180 × 230 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Lothar Schnepf

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2012

Oil and paper on canvas, 70 ⅞ × 90 ⅝ inches (180 × 230 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Lothar Schnepf

About

Gagosian Beverly Hills is pleased to present a major exhibition of new and recent paintings by Albert Oehlen.

For Oehlen, the practice of painting, with its inherent unpredictability, is a subject in itself. The guiding principles of his method are impulse and eclecticism, while his tools are fingers, brushes, collage, and computer. He treats abstraction as gesture or geometry, superimposed on or conflated with a figurative register; pictorial form is a trigger rather than an end in itself.

Oehlen often begins by imposing a set of rules or structural limitations. In some paintings, landscapes lurk in messy patches of paint; fleeting visions are provoked and just as quickly abandoned. Collage is both a conceptual and formal construct, from the heterogeneous combining of elements to the damaged or torn signs and magazine advertisements that form the foundations of his paintings and eventually fuse with the painted surface, composed of seemingly informal gestures, swipes, and erasures, awkward drawing, and the occasional crude cartoon. Nothing coheres in a way that could be said to have substantive narrative dimension or pictorial legibility, except for visible stops and starts that prod the limits of content.

In a new series of huge four-part aluminum panel paintings, rendered in a simple, striking palette of red, black, and white, Oehlen creates treelike forms as vehicles for a methodical deflation of content. The tree has been a recurring motif in his work since the 1980s; the isolated, more literal trees in paintings such as Untitled (1989) undermine the common role of identifiable images through “bad” painting. In the new schematic forms, trunks and branches are silhouettes that suggest the digital marks of art and design software, although they have been meticulously handpainted in oil paint. Flattening surface, color, and content through cut-and-paste reimaginings of a fundamental natural structure, Oehlen calls the most essential tools of painting into question.

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