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  • Provenance

    Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

  • Catalogue Essay

    Albert Oehlen’s paintings humorously critique with hallowed respect the predominant values of traditional painting. In Fibreglass Scroll, his sensitively treated surface adopts the ephemeral radiance of Abstract Expressionism, while all the while alluding to an aura of mysticism and spirituality.

    Devoid of color, Oehlen’s passionate brushwork becomes a vacuous gesture; his black and white palette relegates the sincerity of painting to the annals of history, calling to mind the grisaille technique employed by Renaissance and Mannerist masters. Stylized, flat shapes float above Oehlen’s painterly field, transforming his abstract composition to a Picasso-like animal, uncontrollably wild and powerful.

  • Artist Biography

    Albert Oehlen

    Albert Oehlen is a German contemporary artist whose work explores the capabilities and failures of painting in the age of postmodernism. His deconstructed artworks reduce painting to a discordant mixture of its constituent elements—color, gesture, motion, and duration—and celebrate the resulting disharmony as an artistic expedition to the frontiers of the abilities of painting. Oehlen began his career in the art scenes of Cologne and Berlin, becoming associated with the Junge Wilde artists who sought to create works that defied classification and disrupted the artistic status quo. He has carried this sense of rebelliousness into his mature career with works that incorporate digital technologies as well as more traditional media. Oehlen’s paintings are marked by inherent, gleeful contradictions, always wielded with a cavalier confidence in the artist’s prowess – his uncooperative fusions of abstraction and figuration, for example, expose the inefficiencies of each art mode and explore the function of painting as much as its meaning.

    Oehlen has attracted critical praise befitting the innovative nature of his work, and he has been the subject of several major exhibitions at institutions such as the Mumok, Vienna and the New Museum, New York. He lives and works between Bühler, Switzerland.

     
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68

Fibreglass Scroll

2004
Oil on canvas.
106 1/4 x 86 5/8 in. (269.9 x 220 cm).

Estimate
$250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for $288,000

Contemporary Art Part I

17 May 2007
7pm New York