Elevator Paintings: Trees
Albert Oehlen: Elevator Paintings: Trees is available for online reading from April 7 through May 6 as part of Artist Spotlight: Albert Oehlen. Published on the occasion of the artist’s 2017 exhibition Elevator Paintings: Trees at Gagosian, West 21st Street, New York, this catalogue brings together two groups of works. The Tree Paintings 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. Using a new technical approach, the Elevator Paintings are allover polychromatic oil paintings in which the artist stages oppositions between clear contours and amorphous blurs. The book features an essay by Andreas van Dühren.
Albert Oehlen: Elevator Paintings: Trees (New York: Gagosian, 2017)
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.
Albert Oehlen in his studio, Ispaster, Spain, 2020. Artwork © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Esther Freund
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
Albert Oehlen: New Paintings is available for online reading from April 7 through May 6 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)
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.
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2021
The Spring 2021 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Gerhard Richter’s Helen (1963) on its cover.
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.
Hans Ulrich Obrist traces the history behind Richter’s Cage paintings and speaks with the artist about their creation.
The Grand Chalet: An interview with Setsuko
On the twentieth anniversary of Balthus’s death, Setsuko gives an intimate tour of the Grand Chalet and reflects on how the 1754 Swiss mountain home enriched their lives as artists.
Work in Progress
Adriana Varejão: In the Studio
Join Adriana Varejão at her studio in Rio de Janeiro as she prepares for her upcoming exhibition at Gagosian in New York. She speaks about the inspirations for her “tile” paintings, from Portuguese azulejos to the Brazilian Baroque to the Talavera ceramic tradition of Mexico, and reveals for the first time her unique process for creating these works.
A short story by Cleyvis Natera, published here on the occasion of the Quarterly’s collaboration with pen America.
The Art of Biography: Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan
Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan, coauthors of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize–winning biography of Willem de Kooning, speak with Michael Cary about the research and revelations that went into their forthcoming biography of Francis Bacon.
On Ming Smith: A Life of Magical Thinking
An interview by Nicola Vassell.
Sir David Adjaye OBE and Zoë Ryan
Architect David Adjaye discusses his archival project Adjaye Africa Architecture: A Photographic Survey of Metropolitan Architecture with Zoë Ryan, Daniel W. Dietrich, II Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania. For this decade-long project, published in seven volumes, Adjaye traveled to the capital city of every major African country to photograph the continent’s built environment.
Twombly and the Poets
Anne Boyer, the inaugural winner of the Cy Twombly Award in Poetry, composes a poem in response to Twombly’s Aristaeus Mourning the Loss of His Bees (1973) and introduces a portfolio of the painter’s works accompanied by the poems that inspired them.
A Day in the Life of The Lightning Field
In the first of a two-part feature, John Elderfield recounts his experiences at The Lightning Field (1977), Walter De Maria’s legendary installation in New Mexico. Elderfield considers how this work requires our constantly finding and losing a sense of symmetry and order in shifting perceptions of space, scale, and distance, as the light changes throughout the day.