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Albert Oehlen

Elevator Paintings: Trees

February 28–April 15, 2017
West 21st Street, New York

Installation video Artwork © Albert Oehlen Play Button

Installation video

Artwork © Albert Oehlen

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Works Exhibited

Albert Oehlen, Untitled (Baum 84), 2016 Oil on Dibond, 98 ½ × 98 ½ inches (250 × 250 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Stefan Rohner

Albert Oehlen, Untitled (Baum 84), 2016

Oil on Dibond, 98 ½ × 98 ½ inches (250 × 250 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Stefan Rohner

Albert Oehlen, Untitled (Baum 79), 2016 Oil on Dibond, 98 ½ × 98 ½ inches (250 × 250 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Stefan Rohner

Albert Oehlen, Untitled (Baum 79), 2016

Oil on Dibond, 98 ½ × 98 ½ inches (250 × 250 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Stefan Rohner

Albert Oehlen, Untitled (Baum 60), 2015 Oil on Dibond, 98 ½ × 98 ½ inches (250 × 250 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled (Baum 60), 2015

Oil on Dibond, 98 ½ × 98 ½ inches (250 × 250 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

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

Gagosian is pleased to present Elevator Paintings: Trees by Albert Oehlen. Oehlen’s oeuvre is a testament to the innate freedom of the creative act. Unleashing this freedom through self-imposed constraints, Oehlen sets rules and boundaries in order to test the breaking point of painting itself. Through expressionist brushwork, Surrealist methodology, computer-generated lines, and self-conscious amateurism, he multiplies the potential of visual codes through processes of persistent accretion.

Of the two groups of works in Elevator Paintings: Trees—both being shown in New York for the first time—the Tree Paintings (Baumbilder) are permutations of an ongoing series that Oehlen began more than thirty years ago. For this iteration, he limited his palette to predominantly black and red. On bright white Dibond, black lines track the hand’s erratic ambulations, while red gradations are contained within geometric figures of a more digital register. The black, mobile lines take on a representative function, as if measuring their own relation to the red, still planes. Using a new technical approach, the Elevator Paintings are allover, polychromatic oil paintings in which Oehlen stages oppositions between clear contours and amorphous blurs. Over areas of clean, solid color, he applies voracious sprays, drips, and strokes in muddy greens and grays, as well as deep reds and flesh tones, further complicating his conflation of erasure and enhancement.

A fully illustrated catalogue, Elevator Paintings: Trees, with an essay by Andreas van Dühren, will accompany the exhibition.