Albert Oehlen: New Paintings
For Oehlen, the practice of painting, with its inherent unpredictability, is a subject in itself. The guiding principles of his method are impulse and eclecticism, while his tools are fingers, brushes, collage, and computer. He treats abstraction as gesture or geometry, superimposed on or conflated with a figurative register; pictorial form is a trigger rather than an end in itself. German artist born in 1954, Oehlen is a major figure on the international art scene. His career started in the 80’s with figurative paintings, which were clearly defying the context of the time, predominated by minimal and conceptual art, by the work of Joseph Beuys and Arte Povera. Both a prolongation and a continuation of previous manners, his paintings witness Oehlen’s creative strength, seemingly questioning the legacy of the anterior generation of artists like Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke, two German painters who, like Oehlen, innovated and redefined painting.