Albert Oehlen - Contemporary Art London Friday, October 13, 2006 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist.

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Through his political past and his relationship with Immendorf, Oehlen has been able to acquire a method which is distinctly dialectical. Architectural symbols, portraits of Stalin, phrases inscribed in the paintings are clearly intended, in the final analysis, to be regarded as affirmations. Architectural pastiches, phrases void of meaning […] are presented in his paintings as empty signs. The serious nature of their political content is defused by the irreality of the painting.” (F. Hergott, Albert Oehlen, Cologne, 1995, p. 39)

    Albert Oehlen’s oeuvre, wide-ranging in media and style, figurative and abstract, is always concerned with the validity of any degree of Expressionism and the meaning of being “German”. Leuchter, painted in 1984, provokes a strong reaction to the anti-Holocaust theories that the name Leuchter has become associated with—the self-consciously brutal surface of his canvas further validates Oehlen’s strife with expressing the political. In Oehlen’s words, “Because we now refuse to deny the direct dependence and responsibility of art vis-à-vis reality, and on the other hand see no chance for art as we know it to have an effect, there is only one possibility left: failure.”



Oil and acrylic on canvas.
47 1/4 x 59 in. (120 x 149.9 cm).
Signed and titled “Leuchter Oehlen” on the stretcher.

£50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for £96,000

Contemporary Art

14 Oct 2006, 7pm