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Albert Oehlen

Theft is Vision (group show)
LUMA Westbau, Zurich
18 November 2017 - 4 February 2018

The notion of Theft establishes a site of investigation. This exhibition examines the desire to appropriate – a fundamental theme in the production of art. Throughout art there are typologies that ensue from the appropriation of motifs or of other works of art. As just one form of aggressive theft, the act of citation was already a cultural strategy long before Appropriation Art manifested itself.
At LUMA Westbau the following questions are posed from a contemporary perspective:
What are the genres established through appropriation today? What does stealing mean for artistic production? Is it an act of removal and subtraction? Or can it be a productive strategy as suggested by the art history of Appropriation Art? In the context of this exhibition, Theft is presented as dialogues and translations between artists. In essence, the exhibition confronts two opposing concepts in appropriation: the desire to appropriate as the idolization of sources or as an attack on and subversion of the established.

LUMA Westbau, Zurich


Additional:

Albert Oehlen

As Far as the Eye Can See - New Insight into the Würth Collection (group show)
Kunsthalle Würth, Schwäbisch Hall
23 April 2018 - 17 March 2019

The Würth Collection, already rich in diversity and specific features, has nevertheless been enlarged by a wealth of exciting international acquisitions over the past ten years. An opulent selection of almost 200 works dating from the 1960s onwards are now being put on show for the public, many of them for the first time.
The main accesssions have been in the fields of painting and sculpture. The often powerful
formats by Karel Appel, Daniel Buren, Anthony Caro, Tony Cragg, Felix Droese, Antony Gormley, Peter Halley, Johannes Itten, Alex Katz, Martin Kippenberger, Per Kirkeby, Imi Knoebel, Maria Lassnig, Robert Longo, Brian O’Doherty, Albert Oehlen, Sigmar Polke, Arnulf Rainer, Gerhard Richter, Antonio Saura, Sean Scully, Monika Sosnowska, Antoni Tàpies and many others reflect in many ways the complexity as well as the openness of positions in art over the past 60 years.
Whereas the art predominant in the western world in the post-war years was mainly dedicated to art forms that, freed from all figuration, tradition and representational constraints, relied solely on the inspired gesture, now artists emerged who were suspicious of precisely this supposedly ingenious artistic inspiration. While some declared painting to be dead, others took very different approaches towards a “re-vision” of painting and sculpture, which included both provocation and irony.
This did not ultimately involve some kind of empathetic return to the painterly or figurative, but rather a re-negotiation of traditionally conveyed notions of the image and the reproduction. What is more, it is a process which has still not been completed to this very day.
The exhibition is subdivided into several sections that provide exciting insight into a variety of themes ranging from Colour Field to Nature Transformed to Body Communication,
not omitting Staged Conflict Fields or The Grand Gesture. You may well be surprised!

Würth Collection


Albert Oehlen

Albert Oehlen and Peppi Bottrop: Line packers” (dual exhibition)
Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles
1 March - 12 August 2018

Albert Oehlen and Peppi Bottrop, installation view, Marciano Art Foundation, 2018. Photo: Julian Calero. Courtesy of the artists and Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles
Albert Oehlen and Peppi Bottrop, installation view, Marciano Art Foundation, 2018. Photo: Julian Calero. Courtesy of the artists and Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles

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

Cows by the Water (solo show)
Palazzo Grassi, Venice
8 April 2018 - 6 January 2019

Albert Oehlen, installation view, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 2018 © Palazzo Grassi, Photo: Matteo De Fina
Albert Oehlen, installation view, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 2018 © Palazzo Grassi, Photo: Matteo De Fina

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 Bourgeois.

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 1980's 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