Albert OehlenVier Gemälde


September 05 to October 25, 2003

Galerie Max Hetzler Zimmerstraße 90/91 Berlin/Mitte

Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to present recent works by Albert Oehlen in the gallery Zimmerstraße 90/91.

The four large sized exhibited works from 2001 that were already shown in a museum presentation in Strassbourg show the actual state of development of his paintings.

Characteristic for these new works is the simultaneity of figurative and pictorial elements. After he had constructed his paintings between 1987 and 1997 in his „postungegenständlich"(„postabstract") phase mainly out of complex formal accumulations, it came to an artistical turn around 1997 when again figures and narrative structures entered the pictures. But different from his very early works he is not busy with a new reflection of classical art genres like still life, architecture and interieur scenes that he examined between 1981 and 1986. The figures and subjects that appear in his paintings of the last five years come from another source: it is a phantastic world that reminds us of the surrealist „écriture automatique" where different figurative and non figurative elements meet and build absurd combinations. At the same time details from early motives appear in the multiperspective settings, as well as quotations from the history of art.

The starting point of the four paintings are compositions of photo material that was made at the computer and was partly used in earlier ink jet posters by the artists. Then the photo collages were transferred on big canvases by execution with paint and brush. The vertical format collages were changed to horizontal formats as an alienating effect. In addition the figurative elements were made more unclear in the painting process. Many recognizable motives were transformed and remixed and got a new identity.

In Grüntöne ( green tones) cut-off hands try to get hold on ominous objects in a diffuse coloured world. Wege (ways) shows burlesque figures such as a mexican cowboy, embracing bears and clowns while Schallplattenexistenz (record existence) contains fragments of comic strips, for example an operation scene that takes place close to several open buckets of paint to hint at the „saving" engagement in the sign of art. Close to this scene bicycle wheels can be discovered as an allusion to the supposed „overcoming" of painting through Duchamp´s found objects. Another quotation comes from Salvador Dalí, a figure that was transformed into a „piano playing Heavy Metal teenager". Material auf Abruf (material on call) shows bones and organic forms as the subject and as material that metaphors the „interior" of painting.

Albert Oehlen´s works visualize deconstructing analysis and overcharge at the same time. Purely painterly means, more or less concrete materials and motives that are in a constant flow of transformation question and examine their identities. The paintings announce the seemingly paradox possibility and impossibility of contemporary painting.

Albert Oehlen was born in Krefeld in 1954 and since 2000 holds a professorship for painting at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf. This is not his first exhibition in the Galerie Max Hetzler. Albert Oehlen´s artistic career is closely related to the gallery, where he had his first one man show in 1981. Since the mid-80ies he shows his work internationally in many solo and group exhibitions and will also be seen at the Lyon Biennale this year.

For further information please contact the gallery under 030 229 24 37 or visit our website at
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11 – 18.