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Albert Oehlen

Albert Oehlen x Sven-Åke Johansson: Rhythm Ace & Slingerland

Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin is pleased to announce Rhythm Ace & Slingerland, which was recorded during a concert conceived by Albert Oehlen with percussionist Sven-Åke Johansson at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg in May 2019.

This new album, a co-production by NI VU NI CONNU and Galerie Max Hetzler, with liner notes by Max Dax is one of numerous collaborations between longstanding friends Oehlen and Johansson, following from their 2003 album Shotgun Wedding, also featuring Mayo Thompson of Red Krayola. This album explores how art infuences music and vice versa – a question often explored in Oehlen’s work.

The idea originated from Johansson’s visit to the artist’s studio in 2018. Oehlen showed the drummer his collection of rhythm machines, American and Japanese, from the 1960s onwards. Oehlen explains “I collect old drum machines because I fnd the contradiction fascinating that you collect devices that can do as little as possible. A drum machine is more attractive to me the more limited it is.”

Johansson responds to Oehlen’s musings and collection by creating the performance for Rhythm Ace & Slingerland. Johansson says of the performance “the situation was an extension of my being and also that of this device. It is a win for both: man and machine. So the experiment was successful.”

This record is available on our publications website.


Additional:

Albert Oehlen et al.

Christen Sveaas Art Foundation: This is the Night Mail, selected by Ida Ekblad
Whitechapel Gallery, London
27 August 2021 – 2 January 2022

Installation view: Whitechapel, London, 2021, courtesy of Whitechapel Gallery, photo: Stephen White
Installation view: Whitechapel, London, 2021, courtesy of Whitechapel Gallery, photo: Stephen White

The dreams, nightmares and twilight landscapes of 35 international artists are brought together in This is the Night Mail, an artist-curated display by Ida Ekblad. Drawing from the personal collections of Christen Sveaas and that of the Christen Sveaas Art Foundation, the exhibition creates a densely-packed mise-en-scène featuring painting, photography, sculpture and drawings.

This is the Night Mail is the first line of W.H. Auden’s 1936 poem describing a train journey across a sleeping Britain as it carries the nation’s mail. It accompanied a documentary film commissioned by the General Post Office with a propulsive soundtrack by a young Benjamin Britten. The slumbering mystery of Auden’s verse inspired Ekblad’s selection of works in the Collection, which the artist arranges across three imagined train compartments.

Ekblad is renowned for her polychromatic, gestural paintings that often expand into immersive environments. Coming from the land of both the longest and the shortest night, she shares a preoccupation with many artists featured in the exhibition, using the nocturne as subject.

The exhibition explores how moonlit interiors, land and seascapes form the backdrop for scenes of dream or nightmare, drama and transgression. Ekblad’s selection includes late 19th and 20th century Norwegian artists whose shimmering and mysterious canvases will be new to British audiences. Ekblad also selects postwar and contemporary artists whose works explore nighttime encounters, escapism and terrors. Their work features alongside beautifully-crafted antique silver and glass objects which Norwegian collector Christen Sveaas has been acquiring for over 40 years. Works by Albert Oehlen and Sigmar Polke are included.

This is the Night Mail is the first in a series of four artist-curated displays borrowing from the Christen Sveaas Art Foundation. Taking place over the course of a year, the exhibitions function as a platform for creative and curatorial experimentation and invite the public to engage with works rarely on public view. Each display in the series is also accompanied by a new collectible publication devised by the guest selector and co-published by the Foundation and Whitechapel Gallery.

Whitechapel Gallery

Artist Pages

William N. Copley, Albert Oehlen, Christopher Wool et al.

Enjoy – the mumok Collection in Change (group show)
mumok, Vienna
19 June 2021 – 18 April 2022

Installation view: mumok, Vienna, photo: Klaus Pichler, © mumok
Installation view: mumok, Vienna, photo: Klaus Pichler, © mumok

Ten years after joining the museum, Karola Kraus is organizing with her team a collection presentation that includes central donations and acquisitions from the past decade. The selected works range from classical modernism to the present day, following the path of the collection’s development. Twenty years after mumok opened in Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier, and forty years after the founding of the Austrian Ludwig Foundation, this exhibition is both a survey of the past and a glimpse ahead to the future. As the past years are reviewed, new perspectives are proposed as basis for the museum’s future collection and exhibition activities. The collection exhibition Enjoy sets out to convey the intertwining of past and present as a living process of continual reassessment and revaluation that reflects everchanging socio-political, socio-cultural, and philosophical developments and discourses. The main themes cut across time and media: the depiction of life in society, the human body, and nature, as well as migration and the drawing of boundaries.

mumok


Hans Josephsohn, Albert Oehlen, Julian Schnabel, Rebecca Warren et al.

Albert Oehlen – “big paintings by me with small paintings by others”
MASI, Lugano
5 September 2021 – 20 February 2022

Installation view: MASI, Lugano, 2021
Installation view: MASI, Lugano, 2021

From 5 September 2021 to 20 February 2022, Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana (MASI) present the exhibition titled Albert Oehlen – “big paintings by me with small paintings by others”. For this project Albert Oehlen is at the same time an artist, a curator and a collector. Iconic works embodying different phases of his painting career will be displayed alongside a selection of more than thirty international artists belonging to his private collection.

It is always very interesting when artists collect art, and this is particularly true in the case of a reserved, elusive and sometimes even cryptic artist like Albert Oehlen. This is the first time that masterpieces by Oehlen are exhibited alongside works from his private art collection in such an extensive form and in a display conceived by the artist himself in partnership with MASI. This project not only offers surprising insights into his work, but also allows visitors to discover, or rediscover, a series of exceptional artists. The core group of works, representing the essence of Oehlen's art, and the extraordinary chance to admire a part of his private collection in a museum, will enable visitors to engage with the depth and breadth of his pictorial exploration. For many years Oehlen has been expanding his collection with works by artists with whom he feels a connection, not in terms of likeness, but because they address ideas – often associated with the concept of painting – that are very relevant to him too. However, while all the works featured in the exhibition reveal inspiration and similarities (in some cases very evidently), we must not forget that the artist rejects all kinds of classification and rational analysis of his oeuvre. Indeed, Oehlen has always actively shunned interpretative methods that seek to define the meaning of form and content, or, more simply, rejects an approach focusing on the wish to understand art in general. Consequently, the exhibition does not aim to suggest comparisons between Oehlen's work and that of other artists or to insert his work in a “genealogy”, but rather to give visitors an exceptional glimpse into his private collection and allow them to engage – perhaps for the first time – with the work of important international artists in an original and exciting narrative that recounts the history of the art of recent decades from Oehlen's personal perspective. Works by Hans Josephsohn, Albert Oehlen, Julian Schnabel and Rebecca Warren are included.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Mousse Publishing with an introduction by MASI's Director Tobia Bezzola and scientific contributions by Francesca Benini and Christian Dominguez. The catalogue is available via the institution's website.

MASI Lugano


Rineke Dijkstra, Günther Förg, Michel Majerus, Albert Oehlen, Thomas Struth et al.

Now or Never – 50 Years LBBW Collection (group show)
Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart
13 November 2021 – 20 February 2022

Thomas Struth, West Broadway, Tribeca, New York, 1978, Collection LBBW, © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, West Broadway, Tribeca, New York, 1978, Collection LBBW, © Thomas Struth

The LBBW art collection dates back to the year 1971. The focus of the collection was initially on art from the Stuttgart and Baden-Württemberg region. At the beginning of the 1990s, the collection was expanded to include international positions. The foundation of LBBW and its development promoted the growth of the collection. “Collecting Contemporary” is the keyword today. The orientation and history of the LBBW collection show parallels to the collection of the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart. On the occasion of the LBBW anniversary and the long-standing cooperation with the art museum, outstanding works will be on display from all areas of the LBBW collection.

Kunstmuseum Stuttgart


Ai Weiwei, Günther Förg, Albert Oehlen et al.

Helga de Alvear Collection (group show)
Helga de Alvear Foundation Visual Arts Center, Cáceres
26 February – 31 December 2021

Installation view: Ai Weiwei, Decending Light, 2007, Helga de Alvear Foundation Visual Arts Center, Cáceres, 2021, photo credit: Joaquin Cortés / Museum of Contemporary Art Helga de Alvear
Installation view: Ai Weiwei, Decending Light, 2007, Helga de Alvear Foundation Visual Arts Center, Cáceres, 2021, photo credit: Joaquin Cortés / Museum of Contemporary Art Helga de Alvear

The exhibition showcases nearly 150 works from the Helga de Alvear Collection, including paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures and installations by over 100 artists across generations.

Encompassing approximately 3000 square meters of exhibition space, distributed over four levels, this exhibition manifests the museum's purpose of facilitating a plurality of art experiences.


Helga de Alvear Foundation


Albert Oehlen

Collaboration with "Talk About Lebanon"

Image © Albert Oehlen
Image © Albert Oehlen

Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to team up with "Talk About Lebanon" in the wake of the fatal explosion in Beirut on 4 August 2020. The first in a series of collaborations is a T-shirt featuring a painting by Albert Oehlen from his iconic "Baumbilder" (Tree Paintings) series. All proceeds from the sale will go towards the NGO "Live Love Beirut" whose mission is to provide assistance to those who cannot afford to repair their homes after the explosion.

The T-shirt can be purchased at Talkaboutlebanon.co.uk

Talk about Lebanon


Albert Oehlen, Christopher Wool et al.

Nur nichts anbrennen lassen. New presentation of the collection (group show)
Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn
3 June 2020 – 1 July 2022

installation view: Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, 2020. Photo: David Ertl
installation view: Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, 2020. Photo: David Ertl

After the great survey of painting in the exhibition Jetzt! Young Painting in Germany, the Kunstmuseum Bonn is now turning its attention once again to its own collection, which is being presented in a new way in its many and varied aspects, incorporating acquisitions and donations from recent years as well as permanent loans from private collections (KiCo, Mondstudio, Scharpff-Striebich, etc.).

At the same time, the re-hanging also provides a resonance space for the positions previously shown in Jetzt!, since the Kunstmuseum has defined painting as the focal point of its collection of contemporary art from the very beginning. Thus, a room with paintings from the 1980s provides a retrospective of the emphatic revitalization of painting and at the same time an outlook on current painting projects, for example Tobias Pils and his complex paintings, both reflective and intuitively developed. The spectrum ranges from Informel to Palermo, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and to Pia Fries, Christopher Wool and Thomas Huber.

Also the pictorial possibilities of photography are discussed, with new acquisitions of photographs by Heidi Specker and Viktoria Binschtok, which were previously shown in solo exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum, and photographs by Claudia Fährenkemper and Hartmut Neumann, who donated a comprehensive body of his work to the museum. The museum also received works by Harald Naegeli, who is not presented here as a sprayer, but with his Urwolken as a creator of utopian drawing spaces.

The video centre is showing the film Unheil (disaster) by John Bock, acquired in 2018, which invents a medieval age full of disturbing rituals. Separate rooms are dedicated to Isa Genzken and Georg Herold, two artists who refuse to be tied down by any kind of media or content, Genzken confidently improvising, Herold with irreverent humour "Nur nichts anbrennen lassen" ("Just don't scorch anything").

Kunstmuseum Bonn


Albert Oehlen et al.

Writing the History of the Future (The ZKM Collection) (group show)
ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe
23 February 2019 – 9 January 2022

Das 30jährige Bestehen des ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe ist der Anlass, mit seiner Sammlung, die als eine der wichtigsten Medienkunstsammlungen der Welt gilt, die Geschichte der Kunst im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert neu zu erzählen. Mit über 500 Objekten zeigt die Ausstellung erstmals die Vielfalt der Künste im medialen Wandel. Sie umfasst Fotografie, Grafik, Malerei und Skulptur ebenso wie computerbasierte Werke, Film, Holografie, Kinetische Kunst, Op-Art, Sound Art, visuelle Poesie und Videokunst.

Das 20. Jahrhundert erlebte eine radikale Transformation des Bildes durch die apparativen Medien. Beginnend mit dem Skandal der Fotografie, der darin bestand, dass Bilder sich quasi selbst herstellen, haben die Medien den „Gesamtcharakter der Kunst verändert“ (Walter Benjamin). Fotografie, Film, Fernsehen, Video, Computer und Internet haben das Verhältnis von Künstler, Werk und Betrachter sowie unsere Vorstellung des Schöpferischen neu bestimmt. Die Ausstellung Writing the History of the Future macht beispielhaft den Wandel der Kunst angesichts der sich verändernden apparativen Produktions-, Rezeptions- und Distributionstechnologien deutlich. Sie zeigt auch, wie KünstlerInnen mediale und soziale Praktiken vorwegnehmen, die erst Jahre später für die gesamte Gesellschaft selbstverständlich werden. Sie schreiben, wie der Titel der Ausstellung sagt, die Geschichte der Zukunft.

Durch die alle Gattungen und Medien übergreifende Perspektive eröffnet die Ausstellung Writing the History of the Future auf über 6.000 qm einen neuen Blick auf die Kunst des 20. und 21. Jahrhunderts. Diese Epoche rasanten technologischen Wandels durch elektronische und digitale Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien leitete eine nie gekannte Demokratisierung von Kunst und Kultur ein. Writing the History of the Future macht nachvollziehbar, wie das Versprechen der Fotografie, die Abbildung der Welt zu individualisieren, in den 1960er-Jahren von den AktivistInnen der Videokunst nochmals eingelöst wurde. Mit der plötzlich verfügbaren Videotechnik bildeten sie Welten ab, die weder im Fernsehen noch von der Filmindustrie gezeigt wurden und entwickelten eine Ästhetik, die noch heute unsere visuelle Kultur beeinflusst. Die Erweiterung der technischen Trägermedien des Bildes, vom Tafelbild zum Bildschirm, hat die Kunst in einer neuen visuellen Kultur aufgelöst, Massenkultur und Hochkultur verschränkt. Mit der Verbreitung der Computertechnik in den 1950er-Jahren wandelte sich unsere Vorstellung des Schöpferischen, begann die Automatisierung und Algorithmisierung der Künste. Der zeichenverarbeitende Apparat provozierte Diskussionen wie sie heute im Hinblick auf die Künstliche Intelligenz aufs Neue geführt werden. Elektronische Medien veränderten auch die Wahrnehmung und die Erzeugung des Klangs im 20. Jahrhunderts. Bisher illegitime Klänge und Geräusche wurden zu einem Medium der bildenden Kunst, zur Sound Art.

Die Ausstellung Writing the History of the Future macht deutlich, wie grundlegend Apparate das Verhältnis zum Kunstwerk verändert haben – sowohl im Hinblick auf die Produktion als auch auf die Rezeption. Die Erzeugung von Kunst konzentriert sich nicht mehr allein auf das Subjekt des Künstlers bzw. der Künstlerin, sondern inkludiert diverse Aktanten, seien es Apparate oder Menschen. Durch die Entwicklung der partizipativen, interaktiven und performativen Künste, von bewegten Bildern zu den bewegten BetrachterInnen, entstehen seit den 1960er- Jahren offene Werke, welche die BesucherInnen einer Ausstellung nicht allein zum Betrachten, sondern zum Handeln auffordern.

Die Sammlungspräsentation, für die aus 9.500 Werken ausgewählt wurde, zeichnet sich durch ihre gattungsüberschreitende Inszenierung aus. Sie zeigt den Wandel der Gattung Porträt, der Darstellung des Körpers, des Landschaftsbildes und der Architektur vom Gemälde zur interaktiven Computerinstallation. Sie zeigt die Aktualisierung des Urmediums Schrift sowie der Kunst als Format des kollektiven und individuellen Gedächtnisses unter den Bedingungen der Informationstechnologie. Die Ausstellung präsentiert somit eine Kunst radikaler Zeitgenossenschaft, d.h. eine Kunst, in der KünstlerInnen die Gegenwart mit den technischen Medien ihrer Zeit reflektieren. Sie bietet eine einmalige Gelegenheit, mit zum Teil raumgreifenden Installationen und zahlreichen Inkunablen der Medienkunst, einen umfassenden Überblick über die eigentliche Entwicklung der Kunst im 20. Jahrhundert jenseits von Malerei und Skulptur zu gewinnen.

Writing the History of the Future ist nicht allein eine Sammlung von Objekten, sondern auch eine Versammlung von Subjekten. Lounges laden ein, sich zusammenzusetzen und über das Gesehene mit Freunden und Familie auszutauschen, im Ackerspace treffen sich Interessierte zu Workshops und Seminaren. Im BÄM-Lab, dem Maker-Space des ZKM wird gemeinsam experimentiert.

Die Ausstellung ist ein Erlebnis- und Denkraum, in dem das Publikum angeregt wird, an der Geschichte der Zukunft mitzuschreiben.

ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe