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

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  • Provenance

    Luhring Augustine, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    It may take a little more than a cursory glance to realize, but Oehlen’s recent paintings do a bad job of posing as the abstract expressionist works for which they could easily be mistaken. As a set of conventions, painting has come to accommodate a broad and contradictory range of techniques. The use of silk-screen, pre-printed fabrics, drips, smacks, smears and smudges have assumed a place alongside painting’s more traditional methods, materials and time honored skills such as draughtsmanship, color theory, composition and handling of surface. But all of these conventions are still at the service of style. No matter how abstract, a painting still maintains an internal logic based on a set of repeated characteristics or combination of conventions which become a code allowing us to read the work. H. Walker, The University College of Chicago, Albert Oehlen, 1995

  • 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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Östliche Nackte (Eastern Nude)

Silkscreen ink and oil on canvas.
190.5 x 270.5 cm. (75 x 106 1/2 in).
Signed, titled and dated ‘A. Oehlen “Östliche Nackte” 96’ on the reverse.

£150,000 - 200,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £228,500

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

28 Feb 2008, 7pm