Albert Oehlen “Home and Garden. Annex”

Gagosian Gallery Park & 75

poster for Albert Oehlen “Home and Garden. Annex”

This event has ended.

Art has always quarreled with the real, by getting in close to it and cheekily having a go at the actual.
—Albert Oehlen

Gagosian New York presents a projection installation, a large-scale panel painting, and new works on paper by Albert Oehlen at the Park Avenue gallery.

The installation and works on paper are Oehlen’s latest explorations of the tree motif, which recurs throughout his oeuvre. In earlier paintings, singular tree forms are crudely rendered according to the principles of “bad” painting; while in recent schematic paintings on aluminum panels, trunks and branches form silhouettes that suggest the digital marks of art and design software, but are meticulously rendered by hand in oil paint. Here, shadowy tree-like abstractions are drawn and painted on foil, magazine advertisements, and other collaged elements. In the installation, a sapling stripped of its leaves is placed in front of a light source, producing a chimerical image of nature on a large free-standing pane of frosted glass. In an exterior/interior juxtaposition, these works are shown with the panel painting Der rosa Salon/The Pink Parlor (2004), in which a magazine cut-out of a woman curled up in a reclining chair is pasted into a sketchily contoured room. The scene includes a second, crudely painted chair, recalling Franz West’s capricious lifestyle tableaux of collaged and painted subjects.

For Oehlen, the practice of painting and its inherent unpredictability is a subject in itself. The guiding principles of his method are impulse and eclecticism, while his tools are fingers, brushes, collage, and computer. He often begins by imposing a set of rules or structural limitations—restricting his palette to shades of grey, for example, or deliberately working at a slow pace, challenging himself to approach each painting differently. Collage is both a conceptual and formal construct: damaged or torn signs and magazine advertisements form backdrops that fuse with painted surfaces, composed of seemingly informal gestures, swipes, erasures, awkward drawing, and the occasional crude cartoon. Nothing coheres in a way that could be said to have substantive narrative dimension or pictorial legibility, except for visible stops and starts that prod the limits of content.

The survey exhibition “Albert Oehlen: Home and Garden” is on view at the New Museum, New York through September 13, 2015. “Albert Oehlen: An Old Painting in Spirit,” an exhibition that pairs Oehlen’s paintings of the 1980s with some of his latest work, is on view at Kunsthalle Zürich through August 16, 2015.

Albert Oehlen was born in 1954 in Krefeld, Germany and studied at Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg. From 2000-09 he was a professor of painting at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Recent solo exhibitions include “I Know Whom You Showed Last Summer,” Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (2005); “I Will Always Champion Good Painting,” Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2006); “Réalité abstraite,” Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2009); “Albert Oehlen,” Kunstmuseum Bonn (2012); “Albert Oehlen: Malerei,” Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna (2013); and “Albert Oehlen: The 5,000 Fingers of Doctor Ö,” Museum Wiesbaden, Germany (2014). Oehlen’s work was included in the 2013 Venice Biennale.



from June 17, 2015 to September 04, 2015

Opening Reception on 2015-06-17 from 18:00 to 20:00


Albert Oehlen

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