Albert Oehlen - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Saturday, June 28, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

  • Catalogue Essay

    With its monumental scale and vivid brushwork, Bereite Katzen Werden an die Spitze Getrieben is a prime example of Albert Oehlen's artistic repertoire. With a layered surface and hints of figurative elements within the abstracted composition, the present lot examines the relationship between abstraction and figuration within a single work. With a variety of strong colours spread across the canvas and with heavy brushstrokes, Oehlen obscures any recognisable subject-matter that could be hidden under the many layers of paint. As a result, the viewer is left to decipher any possible meaning between his colourful abstractions and figurative elements, whilst considering the relationship and juxtaposition between these two modes of expression.

  • 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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Bereits Katzen werden an die Spitze getrieben

Oil on canvas.
201 x 221 cm. (79 1/8 x 87 in).

£70,000 - 90,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £157,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

29 June 2008, 5pm