Albert Oehlen - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 27, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Luhring Augustine, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Luhring Augustine, Albert Oehlen, 1 May – 5 June, 2004; London, Whitechapel Gallery, 7 July – 3 September, 2006; Bristol, 30 September – 26 November, 2006, Albert Oehlen: I Will Always Champion Good Painting

  • Catalogue Essay

    Oehlen’s style of abstraction is a little strange, a little ugly, but then very beautiful and moody too. Looking at Absteigende Heisse Strahlen (Descending Hot Rays), a quiet grisaille painting, one might imagine it describes a theatrical moment – a dancer doing a soft-shoe with a bucket over his head. It is both whimsical and pensive. Perhaps I’ve over determined the subject matter. Did I see it that way immediately or only after several long looks? Is it really there, or have I imagined it? I have no idea. For painting to be this slippery, this evanescent, it’s got to be good. J. Avgikos, ‘Albert Oehlen: Luhring Augustine’ in ArtForum, 1 September, 2004

  • 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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Absteigende Heisse Strahlen (Descending Hot Rays)

Oil on canvas.
280 x 299.3 cm. (110 1/4 x 117 7/8 in).
Signed and dated ‘A.Oehlen 03’ on the reverse.

£120,000 - 180,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £132,500

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

28 Feb 2008, 7pm