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Albert Oehlen

Hyper! A Journey into Art and Music (group show)
Halle für Aktuelle Kunst, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg
1 March – 11 August 2019

Albert Oehlen, Schuhe, 2008. Photo: Jörg von Bruchhausen © Albert Oehlen/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Albert Oehlen, Schuhe, 2008. Photo: Jörg von Bruchhausen © Albert Oehlen/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

Sound, vision, film, a destroyed piano: What happens when musicians make use of ideas and strategies from the art world? And what kind of pictures result when painters are influenced by music? To be interested in other people’s lives, to follow the unknown, to copy it, to use it in one’s own work – in short, to cross-map between the worlds of music and the visual arts: this is the subject of the exhibition HYPER! A JOURNEY INTO ART AND MUSIC curated by Max Dax, the former editor-in-chief of Spex and Electronic Beats.

The exhibition at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg and the accompanying program of musical events at the Elbphilharmonie includes more than 40 international artists and musicians who explicitly work between ​​the disciplines of art and music and – often unnoticed by their audiences – decisively integrate references from both these areas into their art.

The multimedia exhibition will include classic works such as Peter Saville’s groundbreaking album cover for New Order’s 1983 masterpiece Power, Corruption and Lies as a mural, highlight the importance of Emil Schult’s narrative, minimalist imagery, on which the cover of Kraftwerk’s 1974 album Autobahn was based, and feature Cyprien Gaillard’s acclaimed 3D installation Night Life from 2015. The influence of Richard Wagner on the work of the performance artist Christoph Schlingensief, who died in 2010, will be shown, as well as a related video installation by Alexander Kluge. The mutual influences between music and art will be illustrated with examples by Albert Oehlen and Scooter, Thomas Scheibitz and Melvins, as well as Daniel Blumberg. Photographs and video works by Andrea Stappert, Sven Marquardt, Andreas Gursky, The KLF, Mark Leckey, and Bettina Pousttchi will lend the exhibition a documentary dimension. Significant collaborations between Tabea Blumenschein and Wolfgang Müller, Katharina Grosse and Stefan Schneider, as well as works by Rosemarie Trockel and Thea Djordjadze, Radenko Milak, and Bettina Scholz created specifically for Hyper! will make the exhibition a unique survey of the overlapping fields of music and art.

Deichtorhallen, Hamburg


Additional:

Albert Oehlen

Carroll Dun­ham / Albert Oehlen. Bäume / Trees (group show)
Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
30 November – 1 March 2020

Albert Oehlen, Untitled (Baum 35), 2015, oil on Dibond, 250 x 250 cm, Photo: def image, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin | Paris | London © Albert Oehlen
Albert Oehlen, Untitled (Baum 35), 2015, oil on Dibond, 250 x 250 cm, Photo: def image, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin | Paris | London © Albert Oehlen

The world-renowned painters Car­roll Dunham (*1949 in New Haven, Con­necti­cut, lives there and in New York) and Albert Oehlen (*1954 in Krefeld, lives in Gais, Switzer­land), who are enor­mous­ly in­flu­en­tial es­pe­cial­ly for a younger gen­er­a­tion of artists, will be fea­tured to­geth­er in an ex­hi­bi­tion for the first time.

Both artists are known for their ex­treme­ly in­de­pen­dent and com­plex oeuvre. At the very moment when Albert Oehlen shift­ed from fig­u­ra­tive “Bad Paint­ing” toward ab­strac­tion in the late 1980s, Car­roll Dunham went in the op­po­site di­rec­tion, de­vel­op­ing from his early or­gan­ic ab­stract work into a sur­re­al fig­u­ra­tion in which dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters shape entire blocks of work, which in turn build on each other with an almost con­cep­tu­al rigor.

While Dunham in­tro­duced a figure with a phal­lic nose wear­ing a hat in his work be­gin­ning in the 1990s, which years later was re­placed with female “bathers” with some­times grotesque­ly ex­ag­ger­at­ed sexual organs, Oehlen pro­claimed his “post-non-fig­u­ra­tive” paint­ing and was one the first artists to work with dig­i­tal tech­niques.

Both share the fact that within their self-im­posed pa­ram­e­ters they con­tin­u­al­ly test the pos­si­bil­i­ties of paint­ing, tire­less­ly create signs, and cover up their tracks, while ex­per­i­ment­ing with tech­niques, sur­faces, and struc­tures in an ex­treme­ly in­de­pen­dent manner.

Nowhere is this more ev­i­dent than in the sub­ject of trees, which both artists have re­peat­ed­ly in­clud­ed in their work and in­ter­pret­ed in their own ways. While Albert Oehlen’s trees are bare and leaf­less, with roots that some­times dom­i­nate the scene and become the fig­u­ra­tive im­pe­tus in ab­stract pic­tures, in Car­roll Dunham’s work they are shown bloom­ing, whipped by the wind, or fresh­ly felled and dead.

The com­bi­na­tion of Dunham and Oehlen, each of whom sees the other as “prob­a­bly the world’s best painter of trees,” sug­gests count­less philo­soph­i­cal, the­o­log­i­cal, so­ci­o­log­i­cal, eco­log­i­cal, and of course art-his­tor­i­cal views based on the sub­ject of the tree. From the bib­li­cal Tree of Knowl­edge and thus the place of the Fall of Man to the fa­vorite sub­ject of the Ro­man­tics, and from Piet Mon­dri­an’s rad­i­cal mod­ernist frag­men­ta­tion to Joseph Beuys’s plant­ing of 7,000 oaks, the tree has long been a cen­tral sub­ject of our re­li­gious, in­tel­lec­tu­al, and cul­tur­al his­to­ry.

When Car­roll Dunham and Albert Oehlen con­tin­u­al­ly de­clare trees their cen­tral sub­ject, they are of course aware of all these cul­tur­al- and art-his­tor­i­cal ref­er­ences. And yet, for them trees are an op­por­tu­ni­ty for pure paint­ing, a place for tire­less ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, a test case for the un­tapped po­ten­tial of an an­cient ana­logue medium. Ul­ti­mate­ly it is about the ques­tion of the ab­strac­tion of the world, and thus for Dunham and Oehlen noth­ing less than the visual mean­ing of life in art.

The ex­hi­bi­tion is a pro­duc­tion of the Kun­sthalle Düssel­dorf and is cu­rat­ed by Gregor Jansen and Cor­nelius Tittel in close co­op­er­a­tion with the artists. Car­roll Dunham / Albert Oehlen: Bäume / Trees brings to­geth­er large-scale paint­ings span­ning three decades and also pre­sents re­cent­ly cre­at­ed works. These are sup­ple­ment­ed with draw­ings, etch­ings, and mono­types by both painters in which they ex­plore the sub­ject of trees in their rad­i­cal­ly in­de­pen­dent pic­to­ri­al lan­guages.

To ac­com­pa­ny the ex­hi­bi­tion, a richly il­lus­trat­ed cat­a­log with texts on the work of both artists will be pub­lished by Verlag der Buch­hand­lung Walther König in Cologne.

The ex­hi­bi­tion will later be shown at the Spren­gel Museum in Hanover from June to August 2020.

Kunsthalle Düsseldorf


Albert Oehlen

Albert Oehlen (solo show)
Serpentine Gallery, London
2 October 2019 – 12 January 2020

Albert Oehlen, Sohn von Hundescheisse, 1999, oil on canvas, 278 x 359cm, Private Collection, Photo: Archive Berlin | Paris | London © Albert Oehlen
Albert Oehlen, Sohn von Hundescheisse, 1999, oil on canvas, 278 x 359cm, Private Collection, Photo: Archive Berlin | Paris | London © Albert Oehlen

I am not interested in the idea of staging my work in a space specifically conceived for it. I think that art should adapt to the architecture or fight with it. Albert Oehlen

The Serpentine announces a major exhibition by Albert Oehlen, which opens on 2 October 2019.

Albert Oehlen (b. 1954, Krefeld, Germany) is one of the most innovative and significant artists working today. He has been a key figure in contemporary art since the 1980s and the diversity of his painting is a testament to the intrinsic freedom that remains at the heart of the medium. Through expressionist brushwork, surrealist gestures and deliberate amateurism, he engages with the history of painting, pushing its essential components to bold new extremes.

Oehlen studied at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg in Germany from 1978 to 1981 and quickly rose to prominence, working with artists such as Martin Kippenberger, Georg Herold and Werner Büttner, who sought to create works that defied categorisation and contradicted the existing artistic status quo. Straddling various debates surrounding the nature of painting, Oehlen’s work deconstructs the medium to its essential elements: colour, gesture, motion, and time. This line of investigation, which Oehlen has continued to pursue in the decades since, has resulted in striking variations between works that combine abstract and figurative styles using a range of techniques, from oil painting to spray paint, digital printing and collage.

At the centre of the Serpentine Gallery will be an installation that marks the beginning of Oehlen’s process of interpreting the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. Four new paintings – the same scale and size as the four horizontal canvases found in the Chapel – have been made specifically for this exhibition. Alongside this central installation will be a selection of paintings from the last two decades. A newly-configured soundtrack by the Swiss ensemble, Steamboat Switzerland, will play at intervals throughout the duration of the exhibition. The presence of music will extend through two live concerts taking place during the exhibition’s opening week, with performances by Steamboat Switzerland and experimental musician, Lorenzo Senni. Details of these performances will be announced via the Serpentine Galleries’ website.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with texts by Dawn Adès and André Butzer, and a new interview with Serpentine Artistic Director, Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Serpentine Gallery, London


Albert Oehlen

UNFERTIG (solo show)
Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen
6 July - 10 November 2019

Albert Oehlen, Hill and Guly Rider, 2018 © 2018, ProLitteris, Zurich
Albert Oehlen, Hill and Guly Rider, 2018 © 2018, ProLitteris, Zurich

The trio of Kippenberger, Büttner, and Oehlen marked the beginning of the style of “bad painting,” which playfully rebelled against modernist constraints and a new desire for “wild” pictures. The 1984 exhibition Wahrheit ist Arbeit at the Folkwang Museum served as a manifesto and marked Oehlen’s turn toward painting, which went on to become the true subject of his work.

Albert Oehlen (*1954, Krefeld) studied in Hamburg with Claus Böhmler and Sigmar Polke. From 2000 to 2009 he held a professorship at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Since 2002 he lives in Gais with his wife Esther Freund and their children. He is thus closely linked to the region, alongside his exhibitions around the world as one of the most important figures of experimental painting.

His work is characterized by his close connection to music and numerous collaborations. His pictures with figurative, abstract, and computer-based elements show a loose detachment that often reveals a biting humor. His broad perspective and innovativeness are proverbial. Albert Oehlen will develop a project for the Lokremise based on entirely new works using materials from 1981.

Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen


Albert Oehlen

Jonathan Meese, Albert Oehlen, Daniel Richter. Works from the Hall Collection (group show)
Hall Art Foundation | Schloss Derneburg Museum, Holle
April - October 2019

Albert Oehlen, Conduction 11, 2011. Courtesy Hall Art Foundation © Albert Oehlen
Albert Oehlen, Conduction 11, 2011. Courtesy Hall Art Foundation © Albert Oehlen

The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a group exhibition, Jonathan Meese, Albert Oehlen, Daniel Richter: Works from the Hall Collection, to be held at its Schloss Derneburg location. Organized in collaboration with the artists, the exhibition will include over fifty paintings, sculptures and works on paper by Jonathan Meese, Albert Oehlen and Daniel Richter from the Hall and Hall Art Foundation collections.

Hall Art Foundation


Raymond Hains, Joan Mitchell, Albert Oehlen, Christopher Wool et al.

The Collection of the Fondation. A Vision for Painting (group show)
Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris
20 February - 26 August 2019

The Fondation Louis Vuitton displays a new selection of 70 works from the collection and gathers 23 international artists from the 1960s to the present day around one main theme : painting.

This takes many forms: figurative or abstract, expressive or distanced. Relief pieces are contrasted with each other. Rooms devoted to Joan Mitchell, Alex Katz, Gerhard Richter, Ettore Spalletti, Yayoi Kusama and Jesús Rafael Soto alternate with thematic collections on abstraction, space and colour. The hanging shows the ways in which painting never ceases to reinvent itself and transgress its own rules, drawing on current techniques for reproduction.

Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris


Albert Oehlen

TRANCE (solo show)
Aïshti Foundation, Beirut
22 October 2018 - End of September 2019

Albert Oehlen, installation view, Aïshti Foundation, Beirut, 2018. Photo: def image. Courtesy of the artist and Aïshti Foundation, Beirut
Albert Oehlen, installation view, Aïshti Foundation, Beirut, 2018. Photo: def image. Courtesy of the artist and Aïshti Foundation, Beirut

Aïshti Foundation is delighted to present Trance, an exhibition in three parts where Albert Oehlen plays simultaneously the role of the artist, the curator and the collector.

One of the most respected painters today, Albert Oehlen has explored the possibilities of painting since the 1980's, constantly questioning its methods and means through an ever-evolving style and technique. At the core of his practice are the limitations he imposes on himself as a point of departure, in order to have 'something to push against' and thereby expand and redefine our understanding of painting.

Oehlen's practice began with figurative paintings, which were defying the context of the 1980's were minimal and conceptual art prevailed. His provocative position, subjects and manner have been linked to the notion of Bad Painting throughout the early 1980's alongside artists such as Werner Büttner and Martin Kippenberger. Oehlen has moved towards abstract painting in the late 1980's, continuously redefining his own vocabulary. His first abstract paintings were notably followed by black and white computer-based paintings, collaged canvases with fragments of advertising posters and paint applied on top, Fingermalerei (Finger Paintings) in the 2000's and paintings fully covered with poster cutouts. The survey exhibition ranges from early figurative works from the 1980's till his 2018 series on a bright yellow background. Many of the works on display in the building designed by David Adjaye are monumental in scale.

The works demonstrate Oehlen's creative strength, seemingly questioning the legacy of the anterior generation of artists such as Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke who, like Oehlen, innovated and redefined painting.

Highlights of the show include the artist’s own version of the Rothko Chapel that features large rectangular collages, serving as a critique of our consumer societies, along Tree Paintings and Elevator Paintings.

Dialoguing with Oehlen works, pieces from his personal collection gathering artists he admires such as Martin Kippenberger, Daniel Richter or André Butzer are presented alongside works from Elham and Tony Salamé's collection which include works by Richard Prince, Christopher Wool, Etel Adnan, Fouad Elkoury, Franz West and Jana Schröder in a group show curated by the artist himself. 

Aïshti Foundation, Beirut