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Albert Oehlen

Franz West - ARTISTCLUB (group show)
21er Haus, Belvedere Museum Vienna, Vienna
14 December 2016 - 23 April 2017

The 21er Haus attempts to revive West’s concept of the ARTISTCLUB. Starting in mid-January, this idea will be newly interpreted every second Wednesday between 6:00 and 9:00 PM. Heimo Zobernig’s central four-meter-large artwork will, in this sense, specifically serve as an “open stage” for lectures, talks, concerts, performances, and much more. Moreover, any visitor to the 21er Haus exhibition is invited to interact with the objects, which includes the opportunity to sit on any seating areas.

Through co-authorship and collaboration as well as through the re-launching of works from various creative phases and involvement by other artists, West introduced a subversive and often humorous form of play with the way authorship is attributed to artworks. With this in mind, it is important to note another significant work by West, named Extroversion, that was conceived for the 2011 Biennale di Venezia. In this work, West practically turned the walls of his studio kitchen inside out. Made by friends, colleagues, and co-workers, it involves 43 different artistic works that similarly upend themselves. While retaining their autonomy, they also come together to form a larger, more complex work of art. In addition to the typical conceptual displacement between work and the author, Extroversion also introduces a new and exciting aspect of West’s experience and treatment of space and architecture. The work itself, therefore, forms the starting point for an additional focus of the exhibition, one that concretely explores his approach toward space and architecture.

Belvedere Museum Vienna


Additional:

Albert Oehlen

Theft is Vision (group show)
LUMA Westbau, Zurich
18 November 2017 - 4 February 2018

The notion of Theft establishes a site of investigation. This exhibition examines the desire to appropriate – a fundamental theme in the production of art. Throughout art there are typologies that ensue from the appropriation of motifs or of other works of art. As just one form of aggressive theft, the act of citation was already a cultural strategy long before Appropriation Art manifested itself.
At LUMA Westbau the following questions are posed from a contemporary perspective:
What are the genres established through appropriation today? What does stealing mean for artistic production? Is it an act of removal and subtraction? Or can it be a productive strategy as suggested by the art history of Appropriation Art? In the context of this exhibition, Theft is presented as dialogues and translations between artists. In essence, the exhibition confronts two opposing concepts in appropriation: the desire to appropriate as the idolization of sources or as an attack on and subversion of the established.

LUMA Westbau, Zurich


Albert Oehlen, Richard Prince, Christopher Wool et al.

Artists' Books: The Collection (group show)
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg
1 December 2017 - 2 April 2018

Artists’ books tell stories or take the form of manifestos, archives or political proclamations. Programmatic, narrative, playful, or even appalling, they break with traditional book design to open new creative spaces. Discovered by conceptual artists and the Fluxus movement as an open and versatile medium, the artists’ book has carved out a space for itself since the 1960s as an independent art genre.

In the exhibition Artists’ Books: The Collection, the Hamburger Kunsthalle is for the first time presenting a selection of the best-known publications from its collection of some 1,700 exemplars. The collection got off to its start with minimal and conceptual works in which artists including Sol LeWitt, Ed Ruscha and Lawrence Weiner put their serial and conceptual ideas between the covers of a book in the 1960s and 70s. The Fluxus movement then transcended the usual book format as artists integrated a variety of other media such as music, poetry, actions and happenings as well as spontaneous improvisations. Like the score for a piece of music, the book plays a significant role here as mediator. Artists also began to draw on ordinary everyday materials and methods such as stamps, cut-outs, photocopies, collages and mechanical printing to craft their artworks in book form. The book became a favourite experimental field for trying out new concepts. At the same time, books undermined the hierarchy of the art market, as they are affordable for everyone. The artist’s book therefore stands like hardly any other artistic medium for the democratisation of art.

In addition to the freedom from commercial pressure, the notion of the book as an 'alternative space' has attracted young artists in particular to this medium in recent years. Many are founding their own publishing houses, producing books in small editions and experimenting with new formats. Artists’ record albums as acoustic medium are also enjoying a renaissance.

Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg


Albert Oehlen

Palazzo Grassi, Venice (solo show)
From 8 April 2018

The exhibition lays out a path dedicated to Albert Oehlen’s production through a selection of approximately 85 works, including some lesser-known ones, created between the 1980s and today. The works brought together come from the Pinault Collection as well as from other major private collections and international museums.

The unique exhibition path is not chronological but rather suggests a syncopated rhythm between various genres and periods, thereby underlining the central role played by music in the artist’s practice. Music emerges as a real metaphor of his work method, where contamination and rhythm, improvisation and repetition, density and harmony of sounds become pictorial gestures.

Palazzo Grassi, Venice