Extended through November 9, 2019
These paintings are made in such a way that they accept order only very reluctantly. Eventually there is some form of order, but they strive against it.
Gagosian is pleased to present a series of new paintings in watercolor on canvas by Albert Oehlen, his first exhibition in Asia.
Oehlen approaches painting as a perceptual challenge, a puzzle set within the unpredictable arena of the picture plane. He often imposes specific rules or limitations on his work—keeping to a certain palette or beginning with a straight line—as a way to interrogate the infinite possibilities that the act of painting presents. By continuously flipping between chaos and control, he opens up new relationships between pictorial space, color, and gesture.
In these new paintings, Oehlen emphasizes the importance of spontaneity within his artistic method. Diverging from his recent works created with oil or lacquer on aluminum or the aluminum composite Dibond, Oehlen’s decision to use watercolor in this series marks a stylistic return to his hazy, blended, almost impressionistic oil paintings dating from 2016 and earlier.
Oehlen begins with a chalky white ground, across which he flicks and stains splashes of fluid color. Hues dart between canvases: the same intense shade of magenta—a color he previously referred to as “hysterical” in the context of his Tree Paintings (2013–16)—meanders snakelike from painting to painting, puncturing through the murky veil of watercolors in a vivid streak before resurfacing elsewhere as a series of dots peppered down the canvas. Oehlen revels in the dynamism of his lines, allowing them to come to life and dictate each twist of his ever-shifting compositions.
Nevertheless, Oehlen’s frenzied brushstrokes are tempered by moments of painterly control. Interspersed between splotches and swipes of color are lines, curves, and gradients, all delineated with satisfying uniformity. While his paintings initially appear to lack geometric regularity, they are in fact filled with clean-cut right angles—including a recurring L-shaped motif, which recalls the artist’s yellow-and-black paintings from his 2018 exhibition SEXE, RELIGION, POLITIQUE. These forceful right angles—along with rectangular window-like apertures and eerie humanoid forms—are enshrouded deep within the canvas, their watery facture only adding to their frustrating, tantalizing ephemerality. Swallowed up by the slashes of pigment surrounding them, these loose strands of figuration ultimately dissipate within a churning whirlwind of colors.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with a text by art historian Christian Malycha.
An exhibition of Oehlen’s work curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist will open at the Serpentine Galleries in London on October 2, 2019.
然而，厄倫亦以偶爾的克制緩和狂亂的筆觸。在四散的色彩斑點之間，充斥著線條、曲線和漸變色彩，均以令人滿意的一致性描繪而成。厄倫的畫作乍看之下缺乏幾何的規律性，但實際上卻滿佈俐落的直角，包括反覆出現的L形圖案，令人想起他於2018年「SEXE, RELIGION, POLITIQUE」展覽展出的黃黑色畫作。這些強而有力的直角、類似窗戶的長方形開口和詭異的人形融入畫布之中，如水的質感更加強了它們令人沮喪又誘人的無常特性。這些模糊的形態被四周的色彩吞噬，並在色彩的漩渦中逐漸消失。
由Hans Ulrich Obrist策展的厄倫作品展將於2019年10月2日在倫敦Serpentine Gallery揭幕。
Albert Oehlen: In the Studio
This film by Albert Oehlen, with music by Tim Berresheim, takes us inside the artist’s studio in Switzerland as he works on a new painting.
Albert Oehlen and Mark Godfrey
Albert Oehlen speaks to Mark Godfrey about a recent group of abstract paintings, “academic” art, reversing habits, and questioning rules.
Albert Oehlen and Hans Ulrich Obrist
Hans Ulrich Obrist interviews the artist on the occasion of his recent exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries, London.
Albert Oehlen: Maximum Chance Maximum Control
The artist met with art historian Christian Malycha to discuss his newest paintings.
Gagosian Quarterly Fall 2019
The Fall 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring a detail from Sinking (2019) by Nathaniel Mary Quinn on its cover.
Cows by the Water
At the Palazzo Grassi, Venice, a career-spanning exhibition of paintings by Albert Oehlen, entitled Cows by the Water, went on view in the spring of 2018. Caroline Bourgeois, the curator of the exhibition, discusses how the show was organized around the artist’s relationship to music.
Albert Oehlen: New Paintings is available for online reading from April 7 through June 5 as part of Artist Spotlight: Albert Oehlen. Published on the occasion of the artist’s first exhibition in Asia, in 2019, this volume presents a series of new paintings in watercolor on canvas. Emphasizing the importance of spontaneity within his artistic method, Oehlen’s decision to use watercolor marks a stylistic return to his hazy, blended, almost impressionistic oil paintings dating from 2016 and earlier. The catalogue features a text by Christian Malycha, as well as photographs of the works in process, and is bilingual, in English and Chinese.
Albert Oehlen: New Paintings (Hong Kong: Gagosian, 2019)
April 7–13, 2021
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 is perhaps best known for his embrace of “bad” painting. Alongside his many rules, he allows a certain awkwardness 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.
Photo: Alejandro Ernesto/EPA/Shutterstock
Art Basel Miami Beach Online
November 29–December 7, 2020
Presented in four forty-eight-hour cycles
OVR: Miami Beach
VIP preview: December 2–4, 2020
Public viewing: December 4–6, 2020
On the occasion of Art Basel Miami Beach 2020, which was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gagosian is pleased to present works by modern and contemporary masters on two concurrent online platforms: Gagosian Online, which will feature four individually curated groupings of artworks in forty-eight-hour cycles, and OVR: Miami Beach.
Helen Frankenthaler, Distant Barrier, 1992 © 2020 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Thursday, October 10, 2019, 6pm
Gagosian, Hong Kong
Gagosian senior director Han-I Wang will lead a tour of Albert Oehlen’s first exhibition in Asia, a series of new paintings in watercolor on canvas. In these works, Oehlen emphasizes the importance of spontaneity within his artistic method. Oehlen’s use of watercolor in this series diverges from his recent works created with oil or lacquer on aluminum or the aluminum composite Dibond, and marks a stylistic return to his hazy, blended, almost impressionistic oil paintings dating from 2016 and earlier. To attend the free event, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited.
Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019 © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Jeff McLane