Albert Oehlen (solo show)
Friedrichs Foundation, Weidingen
27 August – 17 December 2023
When Albert Oehlen set out as a painter in the late 1970s, it was a time out of joint. Given German history, terrorism, 'No Future,' and Nineteen-Eighty-Four as well as the permanent threat of all-out nuclear war, painting could not pretend that the world was safe and sound. As the world shattered, so did painting. As all symbols, signs, and means were damaged and devoid of meaning, he unmasked painting in all its dubiousness. How is one to tell authentic gesture from blunt reproduction, genuine emotion from a disillusioned readymade copy? Oehlen accepts the shattering and transforms it into the basis of his painting. He invents an overtly fragmented image, which is as disoriented as the reality, in which it partakes. Traces, stimuli, and after-images of reality flash stroboscopically across his canvases. It is through this attitude that he has achieved an exceptional degree of painterly liberty, With each new image, he updates and renews the possibilities and impossibilities of painting, thereby granting an appropriate form to a diffuse reality.
For the first time, Albert Oehlen has created an expansive all-over installation, spanning the entirety of the Friedrichs Foundation’s exhibition hall, into which 12 paintings have been playfully integrated.
Ömega Man, 2023 (outdoor sculpture)
Stiftung zur Förderung Zeitgenössischer Kunst in Weidingen / Rodenhof
On view from 15 July 2023
Albert Oehlen’s monumental sculpture Ömega Man, 2023, is now on view to the public in Weidingen, where it emerges from the vast landscape of the Südeifel. Its simplified form and slightly raised steel bars, recessed into their concrete casting, evoke the lightness of a drawing. Here, the persistent importance of the line in Oehlen’s work becomes evident, appearing simultaneously curved and controlled. In this work, the artist uses elements which are both abstract and figurative to critically examine the history and conventions of contemporary art, all the while continuing to acknowledge the importance of classical models. Massive yet fragile in its isolation, Oehlen's Ömega Man appears like a monument from the future. Omega, the last letter of the Greek alphabet, is here written with an umlaut, thereby referring to the artist’s own name.
Stiftung zur Förderung Zeitgenössischer Kunst in Weidingen
RINEKE DIJKSTRA, ALBERT OEHLEN et al.
Beautés (group show)
FRAC Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand
24 June – 5 November 2023
Works by Rineke Dijkstra and Albert Oehlen are included in the exhibition Beautés at FRAC Auvergne. Inspired by Marcel Proust’s declaration that ‘true beauty is so particular, so new, that we do not recognise it for beauty’, the exhibition brings together gems from the museum’s collection acquired between 1985 and 2023, and invites viewers to consider beauty as a complex and often contradictory experience which spans from excitement and wonder to melancholy and lust.
RINEKE DIJKSTRA, ALBERT OEHLEN, MATTHEW BARNEY, IDA EKBLAD, MARTIN KIPPENBERGER, JEFF KOONS, PAUL McCARTHY, ALBERT OEHLEN, THOMAS STRUTH, CHRISTOPHER WOOL et al.
Before Tomorrow – Astrup Fearnley Museet 30 Years (group show)
Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo
22 June – 8 October 2023
Works by Matthew Barney, Ida Eklbad, Albert Oehlen, and Christopher Wool are included in Before Tomorrow – an extensive group exhibition celebrating the hidden treasures and recent acquisitions of the Astrup Fearnley Collection in celebration of its thirtieth anniversary. The selected works represent various time periods and highlight a number of key directions that have come to define the identity of the collection and the museum more broadly.
Astrup Fearnley Museet
RINEKE DIJKSTRA, ALBERT OEHLEN, MATTHEW BARNEY, IDA EKBLAD, MARTIN KIPPENBERGER, JEFF KOONS, PAUL McCARTHY, ALBERT OEHLEN, THOMAS STRUTH, CHRISTOPHER WOOL, DARREN ALMOND, GIULIA ANDREANI, JEREMY DEMESTER, ALBERT OEHLEN, TURSIC & MILLE, CHRISTOPHER WOOL et al.
The Inner Island (group show)
Villa Carmignac, Île de Porquerolles, Hyères
29 April – 5 November 2023
Works by Darren Almond, Giulia Andreani, Jeremy Demester, Tursic & Mille and Christopher Wool will be on view in the exhibition The Inner Island, curated by Jean-Marie Gallais. Inspired by the insular location of the Fondation Carmignac’s villa on Porquerolles, a remote island off the French Mediterranean coast in the region of the Côte d’Azur, the exhibition explores the notion of interiority as a powerful driver of creation. Floating outside of known geographies and temporalities, the artists included in this exhibition populate their images with strange and foreign presences – human, animal, hybrid, or supernatural. The result is a distance from reality which encourages an immersion into inner worlds and recesses, giving rise to fictional, mental, or abstract islands.
RINEKE DIJKSTRA, ALBERT OEHLEN, MATTHEW BARNEY, IDA EKBLAD, MARTIN KIPPENBERGER, JEFF KOONS, PAUL McCARTHY, ALBERT OEHLEN, THOMAS STRUTH, CHRISTOPHER WOOL, DARREN ALMOND, GIULIA ANDREANI, JEREMY DEMESTER, ALBERT OEHLEN, TURSIC & MILLE, CHRISTOPHER WOOL, ALBERT OEHLEN, CHRISTOPHER WOOL et al.
Beautiful, Vivid, Self-contained (group show)
Hill Art Foundation, New York
21 April – 21 July 2023
Work by Albert Oehlen and Christopher Wool will be included in Beautiful, Vivid, Self-contained, an exhibition of paintings and sculptures curated by the artist and writer David Salle. Including works drawn from the foundation’s collection, as well as the collection of Tom and Janine Hill and loans from private collections, the exhibition brings together paintings and sculptures by artists working across different eras, mediums, and geographies to explore the nature of affinity between works of art. As Salle asks in the catalogue essay that accompanies the exhibition: ‘How can works of art be said to “recognize” each other? How do things made decades or centuries apart, things that may look dissimilar on the surface come to have a communality of tone, and of feeling?’ In grouping the works within the exhibition, Salle taps into the power of juxtaposition, thus proclaiming that ‘Juxtaposition is the art of the possible.’
Hill Art Foundation
RINEKE DIJKSTRA, ALBERT OEHLEN, MATTHEW BARNEY, IDA EKBLAD, MARTIN KIPPENBERGER, JEFF KOONS, PAUL McCARTHY, ALBERT OEHLEN, THOMAS STRUTH, CHRISTOPHER WOOL, DARREN ALMOND, GIULIA ANDREANI, JEREMY DEMESTER, ALBERT OEHLEN, TURSIC & MILLE, CHRISTOPHER WOOL, ALBERT OEHLEN, CHRISTOPHER WOOL, ALBERT OEHLEN, ADAM PENDLETON
Oehlen, Pendleton, Pope.L, Sillman (publication)
Published by Galerie Max Hetzler Berlin | Paris | London / Holzwarth Publications, 2023
The new catalogue published on the occasion of the group exhibition Oehlen, Pendleton, Pope.L, Sillman, on view at Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin from 4 November 2021 until 29 January 2022, is now available for purchase. Alongside installation views and high-resolution images, the publication includes a conversation between Amy Sillman, Adam Pendleton, and Isabelle Graw.
RINEKE DIJKSTRA, ALBERT OEHLEN, MATTHEW BARNEY, IDA EKBLAD, MARTIN KIPPENBERGER, JEFF KOONS, PAUL McCARTHY, ALBERT OEHLEN, THOMAS STRUTH, CHRISTOPHER WOOL, DARREN ALMOND, GIULIA ANDREANI, JEREMY DEMESTER, ALBERT OEHLEN, TURSIC & MILLE, CHRISTOPHER WOOL, ALBERT OEHLEN, CHRISTOPHER WOOL, ALBERT OEHLEN, ADAM PENDLETON, ALBERT OEHLEN, RUDOLF STINGEL, CHRISTOPHER WOOL et al.
Together, at the Same Time (group show)
de La Cruz Collection, Miami
Works by Albert Oehlen, Rudolf Stingel, and Christopher Wool are included in Together, at the Same Time. The annual exhibition at the de La Cruz Collection brings together paintings, sculpture, and site-specific works from Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz’s private collection. More than four dozen artists are represented.
de La Cruz Collection
ALBERT OEHLEN et al.
Space for Imaginative Actions (group show)
8 May 2022 – 31 January 2024
Works by Albert Oehlen are now represented at the group exhibition Space for Imaginative Actions at Kunstmuseum Bonn. The exhibition celebrated the museum’s thirtieth anniversary and brings together monographic and thematic works from more than forty artists.
The Painter, a film by Albert Oehlen, Oliver Hirschbiegel and Ben Becker
Under the direction of Oliver Hirschbiegel, actor Ben Becker on screen impersonates the contemporary painter Albert Oehlen and re-creates a painting that Oehlen himself and in parallel is creating step by step in the background, with the actor improvising the process in front of the camera. The finished on-screen painting is an original “Oehlen” on which the artist himself never laid hands. The off screen blueprint painting was destroyed after principal shooting had finished.
Originally planned to be a performative statement the projects developed into a fully fledged feature film of 92 minutes, crossing formal boundaries and questioning the meaning of the creative process and the struggle for authenticity on various levels.
The Painter follows the artist / actor as he is struggling and suffering along this process with us watching in joyful despair and what might happen next until the white canvas has turned into a finished painting.
The outcome is a one-man rollercoaster that appears to be a documentary but in fact is a staged and guided improvisation with the “real” process happening behind the camera. The Painter is a constant flow of the artist’s journey with elements of farce and comedy topped with emotional moments of truth...in front of and behind the camera and leaving it up to us to decide what is real and/or authentic.
Watch the trailer here.