Albert Oehlen “Fabric Paintings”

Skarstedt Gallery

poster for Albert Oehlen “Fabric Paintings”

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Skarstedt announces an exhibition of German artist Albert Oehlen’s iconic fabric paintings, dating from 1992-1998, at their uptown gallery this fall. Instead of utilizing pristine canvas, Oehlen gained notoriety for his use of patterned fabric, complicating the predominant notion of the artist’s hand as central to modern painting.

Oehlen’s Fabric Paintings abandoned the strict, formal compositions that he had utilized in his early work and instead focused on the process of painting. Oehlen’s work questions and plays with painting’s conventions.

In the late 80s, he began to challenge the expectations of conventional abstract art in works he deemed “post-non-figurative.” 1992 marked his fifth year of abstract painting. The fractured surfaces of his Fabric Paintings appear explosive, displaying his rigorous testing of the limits of painting. This series followed his Computer Paintings, shown at Skarstedt in 2009, in which he created abstractions with a mechanical tool.

Oehlen studied under Sigmar Polke at the Hochschule für bildende Künste, Hamburg in 1978, and was greatly influenced by his use of both patterned and wooden surfaces. Oehlen explains, “I couldn’t say what Polke’s influence was, but it’s his radicality. When you start to work as an artist everybody thinks about radicality, like how could you make the most shocking thing. And it’s not easy…Polke is somebody who had a role in that; in a way he made very radical things.” Oehlen was also influenced by de Kooning and the Abstract Expressionist generation, with their focus on painterly gesture and the artist’s hand.



from November 04, 2014 to December 20, 2014

Opening Reception on 2014-11-04 from 18:00 to 20:00


Albert Oehlen

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