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Albert Oehlen

Tramonto Spaventoso

April 22–June 5, 2021
Beverly Hills

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Jeff McLane

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Jeff McLane

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Jeff McLane

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Jeff McLane

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Jeff McLane

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Jeff McLane

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Jeff McLane

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Jeff McLane

Installation view Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Jeff McLane

Installation view

Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Jeff McLane

Works Exhibited

Albert Oehlen, Tramonto Spaventoso, 2019–20 (detail) Installation of eight paintingsNortheast wall: get fresh for the weekend, 2020Fabric and charcoal on canvas, in 2 parts, overall: 177 ⅝ × 135 ⅛ inches (451 × 343 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Tramonto Spaventoso, 2019–20 (detail)

Installation of eight paintings
Northeast wall: get fresh for the weekend, 2020
Fabric and charcoal on canvas, in 2 parts, overall: 177 ⅝ × 135 ⅛ inches (451 × 343 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Tramonto Spaventoso, 2019–20 (detail) Installation of eight paintingsSouthest wall: chimborazo=south=face, 2020Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, in 2 parts, overall: 177 ⅝ × 135 inches (451 × 342.9 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Tramonto Spaventoso, 2019–20 (detail)

Installation of eight paintings
Southest wall: chimborazo=south=face, 2020
Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, in 2 parts, overall: 177 ⅝ × 135 inches (451 × 342.9 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Tramonto Spaventoso, 2019–20 (detail) Installation of eight paintingsSouthwest wall: view into the broken rearview mirror, 2020Charcoal on canvas, in 2 parts, overall: 177 ⅝ × 135 ⅛ inches (451 × 343 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Tramonto Spaventoso, 2019–20 (detail)

Installation of eight paintings
Southwest wall: view into the broken rearview mirror, 2020
Charcoal on canvas, in 2 parts, overall: 177 ⅝ × 135 ⅛ inches (451 × 343 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Tramonto Spaventoso, 2019–20 (detail) Installation of eight paintingsSouthest wall: tiger=east=face2, 2020Acrylic on canvas, in 2 parts, overall: 177 ⅝ × 135 inches (451 × 342.9 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Tramonto Spaventoso, 2019–20 (detail)

Installation of eight paintings
Southest wall: tiger=east=face2, 2020
Acrylic on canvas, in 2 parts, overall: 177 ⅝ × 135 inches (451 × 342.9 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019 Acrylic on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019

Acrylic on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019 Acrylic on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019

Acrylic on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019 Charcoal on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019

Charcoal on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019 Charcoal on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019

Charcoal on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019 Charcoal on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019

Charcoal on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019 Charcoal on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019

Charcoal on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019 Charcoal on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019

Charcoal on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019 Charcoal on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019

Charcoal on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019 Charcoal on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019

Charcoal on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019 Charcoal on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019

Charcoal on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)
© Albert Oehlen. Photo: Simon Vogel

About

Gagosian is pleased to present Tramonto Spaventoso, an exhibition by Albert Oehlen comprising the second part of his version of the Rothko Chapel in Houston as well as other new paintings. The first part of the project—consisting of four paintings that mirror the imposing scale of the Color Field compositions in the Chapel while opposing Rothko’s contemplativeness with their frenetic energy—was exhibited at the Serpentine Galleries, London, in 2019–20. Both parts make up the work Tramonto Spaventoso (2019–20).

Oehlen uses abstract, figurative, and collaged elements to disrupt the histories and conventions of modern painting. By adding improvised components, he unearths ever-new possibilities for the genre. While championing self-consciously amateurish “bad” painting, Oehlen continues to infuse expressive gesture with Surrealist attitude, openly disparaging the quest for reliable form and stable meaning.

In the large-scale canvases on view at the Beverly Hills gallery, Oehlen employs acrylic, spray paint, charcoal, and patterned fabric to interpret and transform John Graham’s painting Tramonto Spaventoso (Terrifying Sunset) (1940–49), a work by the Russian-born American modernist painter that he discovered in the 1990s and has been fascinated with ever since. Using Graham’s puzzle-like painting as a vehicle for repeated interpretation, Oehlen reconfigures elements in diverse and absurdist ways across multiple compositions. The exhibition, which goes by the same title, is therefore in part an homage to the earlier, lesser-known artist.

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Albert Oehlen in his studio, Ispaster, Spain, 2020. Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Esther Freund

Playlist

Albert Oehlen
Tramonto Spaventoso

Albert Oehlen has created a playlist of fourteen tracks on Spotify ranging in genres from free jazz to techno. Featuring musicians such as Steamboat Switzerland and Colin Stetson, the playlist shares the title of his upcoming exhibition at Gagosian, Beverly Hills, in which he interprets and transforms John Graham’s painting Tramonto Spaventoso (Terrifying Sunset) (1940–49). The artist discovered the work by the Russian-born American modernist painter in the 1990s and has been fascinated with it ever since.

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Albert Oehlen in his studio, Ispaster, Spain, 2020. Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Esther Freund

Photo: Alejandro Ernesto/EPA/Shutterstock

Artist Spotlight

Albert Oehlen

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