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
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
Elevator Paintings: Trees
Albert Oehlen: Elevator Paintings: Trees 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 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)
Artist to Artist: Rachel Feinstein and Ewa Juszkiewicz
On the occasion of Frieze New York 2021, the two artists discuss remixing conventions, the allure of Rococo, and the importance of research and history within their respective practices.
Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2021
The Summer 2021 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Carrie Mae Weems’s The Louvre (2006) on its cover.
Glenn Brown and Jacky Klein
Glenn Brown speaks with art historian Jacky Klein about working between mediums, his first finished painting of 2021, and the evolution of his artistic voice.
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.
Fashion and Art: Anthony Vaccarello and Jim Jarmusch
Director Jim Jarmusch and Anthony Vaccarello, the creative director for Saint Laurent, discuss French Water, a new short film collaboration—starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Indya Moore, Julianne Moore, Chloë Sevigny, and Leo Reilly—in this interview with the Quarterly’s Wyatt Allgeier.
In honor of this luminous dance artist’s life and work, we share a conversation with the late Aileen Passloff from early 2020.
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.
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 biography of Francis Bacon.
Cosmic Freeze Frames: A Poetics of Bill Gunn
Carlos Valladares discusses the films of the pioneering director.