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Albert Oehlen

Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today (group show)
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
7 February - 20 May 2018

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2008. Collection of Bridgitt and Bruce Evans, Boston
Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2008. Collection of Bridgitt and Bruce Evans, Boston

Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today examines how the Internet has radically changed the field of art, especially in its production, distribution, and reception. The exhibition comprises a broad range of works across a variety of mediums—including painting, performance, photography, sculpture, video, and web-based projects—that all investigate the extensive effects of the Internet on artistic practice and contemporary culture. Themes explored in the exhibition include emergent ideas of the body and notions of human enhancement; the Internet as a site of both surveillance and resistance; the circulation and control of images and information; possibilities for new subjectivities, communities, and virtual worlds; and new economies of visibility initiated by social media.

Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston


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Albert Oehlen

Albert Oehlen and Peppi Bottrop: Line packers” (dual exhibition)
Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles
1 March - June 2018

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 1992/2008. Courtesy of the artist
Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 1992/2008. Courtesy of the artist

The Marciano Art Foundation presents Line Packers”, a special exhibition, conceived by Cornelius Tittel, of two German painters Peppi Bottrop (b. 1986, Bottrop) and Albert Oehlen (b. 1954, Krefeld). Beginning March 1, the foundation’s Lounge Gallery will feature Bottrop’s line-drawing paintings responding to the architecture of the Lounge Gallery itself alongside works from Oehlen’s Computer Paintings, a series that the artist began in the early 1990s, which is now regarded as a turning point for contemporary painting.

Bottrop’s work is conceived as a meditation on his hometown, a once prominent coal mining and rail center in the Ruhr region. Bottrop employs charcoal—a metaphor for what once powered the world, and a nod to the now-defunct mechanical industry—in an expansive wall-drawing engraved into slabs of Fermacell, a material now replacing sheetrock or gypsum used in the construction of institutional architecture.

Oehlen’s Computer Paintings, which will be affixed to Bottrop’s walls, made between 1992 and 2008, exemplify Oehlen’s pioneering role as one of the first contemporary painters to explore the nascent capabilities and limits of drawing and line-making through the use of a now-rudimentary Texas Instruments computer. The wall-drawings and supports by Bottrop juxtaposed with Oehlen’s Computer Paintings suggest new possibilities for the line in painting. This line, embedded materially into the Fermacell walls, offers a proposition for the medium of painting to re-define itself. The two autonomous, yet mutually-dependent works establish a place of intensive communication and self-exploration, supporting one another in this single, temporary unification that looks to Wilshire Blvd. and Los Angeles, a city that is just as easily defined by its own lines of interstate and highway infrastructure.

Accompanying this exhibition will be a new text by the arts writer and science fiction novelist, Mark von Schlegell.

Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles


Albert Oehlen, Richard Prince, Christopher Wool et al.

Artists' Books: The Collection (group show)
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg
1 December 2017 - 2 April 2018

Artists’ books tell stories or take the form of manifestos, archives or political proclamations. Programmatic, narrative, playful, or even appalling, they break with traditional book design to open new creative spaces. Discovered by conceptual artists and the Fluxus movement as an open and versatile medium, the artists’ book has carved out a space for itself since the 1960s as an independent art genre.

In the exhibition Artists’ Books: The Collection, the Hamburger Kunsthalle is for the first time presenting a selection of the best-known publications from its collection of some 1,700 exemplars. The collection got off to its start with minimal and conceptual works in which artists including Sol LeWitt, Ed Ruscha and Lawrence Weiner put their serial and conceptual ideas between the covers of a book in the 1960s and 70s. The Fluxus movement then transcended the usual book format as artists integrated a variety of other media such as music, poetry, actions and happenings as well as spontaneous improvisations. Like the score for a piece of music, the book plays a significant role here as mediator. Artists also began to draw on ordinary everyday materials and methods such as stamps, cut-outs, photocopies, collages and mechanical printing to craft their artworks in book form. The book became a favourite experimental field for trying out new concepts. At the same time, books undermined the hierarchy of the art market, as they are affordable for everyone. The artist’s book therefore stands like hardly any other artistic medium for the democratisation of art.

In addition to the freedom from commercial pressure, the notion of the book as an 'alternative space' has attracted young artists in particular to this medium in recent years. Many are founding their own publishing houses, producing books in small editions and experimenting with new formats. Artists’ record albums as acoustic medium are also enjoying a renaissance.

Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg


Albert Oehlen, Bridget Riley et al.

On With The Show (group show)
Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nuremberg
7 December 2017 - 25 February 2018


Albert Oehlen

Cows by the Water (solo show)
Palazzo Grassi, Venice
From 8 April 2018

From Sunday 8 April 2018, Palazzo Grassi presents 'Cows by the water', a personal exhibition dedicated to German artist Albert Oehlen (1954, Krefeld, Germany) and curated by Caroline Bougeois.

The exhibition lays out a path dedicated to Albert Oehlen’s production through a selection of approximately 85 works, including some lesser-known ones, created between the 1980s and today. The works brought together come from the Pinault Collection as well as from other major private collections and international museums.

'Cows by the water' path is not chronological but rather suggests a syncopated rhythm between various genres and periods, thereby underlining the central role played by music in the artist’s practice. Music emerges as a real metaphor of his work method, where contamination and rhythm, improvisation and repetition, density and harmony of sounds become pictorial gestures.

Albert Oehlen (1954, Krefeld, Germany) reveals himself to be a major figure of contemporary painting thanks to his artistic research in constant evolution, dedicated to experiments and to overcoming formal limits rather than to the subject represented.

The artist’s work has already be presented in exhibitions around the world, including at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana in 2017, the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2016, the New Museum in New York in 2015, the Kunstmuseum in Bonn in 2012 and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2009. 'Cows by the water' in Venice is his largest monographic one to date.

Palazzo Grassi, Venice