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Albert Oehlen, Thomas Struth et al.

Oracle (group show)
The Broad, Los Angeles
29 April 2017 - 3 September 2017

Albert Oehlen, FN23, 1990 © Albert Oehlen. Courtesy of The Broad
Albert Oehlen, FN23, 1990 © Albert Oehlen. Courtesy of The Broad

In an increasingly small world that spans politics, culture and commerce, The Broad will present an interpretation of the elusive globalizing forces at work in contemporary society in Oracle, a free collection installation this spring that will fill the museum’s first-floor galleries with more than 30 works from the Broad collection. Opening April 29, 2017, the four-month installation will feature works by over 20 artists including El Anatsui, Mark Bradford, Peter Halley, William Kentridge, Julie Mehretu, Shirin Neshat, Albert Oehlen, Jeff Wall and Terry Winters, plus recent acquisitions by Ericka Beckman, Sterling Ruby, Oscar Murillo, Tauba Auerbach and Andreas Gursky. Four artworks in the installation will make their debut in Los Angeles, including one work completed by the artist this year.

From everyday experiences to protest movements as monumental as the Arab Spring uprisings across the Middle East, to themes that probe systems of social control or examine global commerce, artworks in Oracle tackle the effects of organizational frameworks on global events and private individuals. Some works in the installation symbolize marketplace machinations, both official and unofficial, while others are meditations on games, surveillance, vast data sets, mathematical and biological patterns, and even the logic of art itself. Just under the surface of the works in Oracle is an air of anxiety, as if individuals’ freedoms within these manmade phenomena are illusory or beyond reach.

 “‘Globalization’ is a term now in the forefront in politics and the media, but for decades, contemporary artists have represented it in their work, responding to and decoding its many forms. Oracle looks at how artists have anticipated the forces that have real consequences in our daily lives yet can be obscured from direct view.” - Joanne Heyler, founding director of The Broad

The Broad, Los Angeles


Additional:

Albert Oehlen

Albert Oehlen and Peppi Bottrop: Line packers” (dual exhibition)
Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles
1 March - June 2018

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 1992/2008. Courtesy of the artist
Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 1992/2008. Courtesy of the artist

The Marciano Art Foundation presents Line Packers”, a special exhibition, conceived by Cornelius Tittel, of two German painters Peppi Bottrop (b. 1986, Bottrop) and Albert Oehlen (b. 1954, Krefeld). Beginning March 1, the foundation’s Lounge Gallery will feature Bottrop’s line-drawing paintings responding to the architecture of the Lounge Gallery itself alongside works from Oehlen’s Computer Paintings, a series that the artist began in the early 1990s, which is now regarded as a turning point for contemporary painting.

Bottrop’s work is conceived as a meditation on his hometown, a once prominent coal mining and rail center in the Ruhr region. Bottrop employs charcoal—a metaphor for what once powered the world, and a nod to the now-defunct mechanical industry—in an expansive wall-drawing engraved into slabs of Fermacell, a material now replacing sheetrock or gypsum used in the construction of institutional architecture.

Oehlen’s Computer Paintings, which will be affixed to Bottrop’s walls, made between 1992 and 2008, exemplify Oehlen’s pioneering role as one of the first contemporary painters to explore the nascent capabilities and limits of drawing and line-making through the use of a now-rudimentary Texas Instruments computer. The wall-drawings and supports by Bottrop juxtaposed with Oehlen’s Computer Paintings suggest new possibilities for the line in painting. This line, embedded materially into the Fermacell walls, offers a proposition for the medium of painting to re-define itself. The two autonomous, yet mutually-dependent works establish a place of intensive communication and self-exploration, supporting one another in this single, temporary unification that looks to Wilshire Blvd. and Los Angeles, a city that is just as easily defined by its own lines of interstate and highway infrastructure.

Accompanying this exhibition will be a new text by the arts writer and science fiction novelist, Mark von Schlegell.

Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles


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


Thomas Struth

Image Building: How Photography Transforms Architecture (group show)
Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill
18 March - 17 June 2018

Image Building: How Photography Transforms Architecture is a comprehensive survey that explores the dynamic relationship between architecture, photography, and the viewer. Seen through the lens of historical and architectural photographers from the 1930s to the present, Image Building offers a nuanced perspective on how photographs affect our understanding of the built environment and our social and personal identities. The exhibition features 57 images that explore the social, psychological, and conceptual implications of architecture through the subjective interpretation of those who captured it.

Organized by guest curator Therese Lichtenstein, Ph. D, Image Building brings together works by 19 renowned, under-recognized, and emerging artists ranging from early modern to contemporary architectural photographers. In addition to photographs, Image Building includes ephemera such as magazines and books that illustrate how the meaning of photography shifts when presented in the context of high art or mass culture. 

Organized thematically into Cityscapes, Domestic Spaces, and Public Places, the exhibition examines the relationship between contemporary and historical approaches to photographing buildings in urban, suburban, and rural environments, looking at influences, similarities and differences. By juxtaposing these photographs, Image Building creates a dialogue between the past and present, revealing the ways photography shapes and frames the perception of architecture, and how that perception is transformed over time.

Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill


Thomas Struth

Thomas Struth (solo show)
Aspen Art Museum, Aspen
19 January – 10 June 2018

Thomas Struth, Front Yard, Tel Aviv 2014, 2014 © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, Front Yard, Tel Aviv 2014, 2014 © Thomas Struth

Acclaimed German artist Thomas Struth’s pivotal series on the Middle East is on view in Gallery 1 in its entirety for the first time. The series of eighteen monumental photographs of Israel and Palestine taken between 2009 and 2014 depicts places and people throughout the region, encompassing street views, sites of technological research, and family portraits. Photographing within the political climates of East Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Golan Heights, Ramallah, Al-Khalil/Hebron, Nazareth, and Negev, Struth conveys vivid and emotional narratives of place.

Aspen Art Museum, Aspen


Thomas Struth

Nature & Politics (solo show)
Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis
5 November 2017 - 21 January 2018

Thomas Struth, Tokamak Asdex Upgrade Interior 2, Max Planck IPP, Garching, 2009 © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, Tokamak Asdex Upgrade Interior 2, Max Planck IPP, Garching, 2009 © Thomas Struth

Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics is a photographic exploration of cutting-edge industrial and scientific research spaces. In over 35 works created within the past decade, the celebrated German artist Thomas Struth ambitiously takes technology and engineering as his overarching subject. With vivid color and monumental scale, he investigates the fascinating complexities of sites where knowledge, ambition, and imagination are advanced.

The featured works are drawn from the artist's visits to Europe, America, Asia, and the Middle East. Struth takes viewers into spaces normally kept from public view, such as aeronautical centers, robotics laboratories, and nuclear fusion facilities, examining humanity's attempts to understand and harness forces of nature, often at great cost of resources.

Nature & Politics intersperses Struth's technological subjects with other recent work, including images of the fantasy environments of Disneyland and the war-torn landscapes of the West Bank. This poses intriguing questions about the relationship between nature and humanity in our increasingly fabricated world, as well as drawing attention to the financial and political ambition that underscores the massive technological endeavors of our present day.

Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis


Albert Oehlen

Cows by the Water (solo show)
Palazzo Grassi, Venice
From 8 April 2018

From Sunday 8 April 2018, Palazzo Grassi presents 'Cows by the water', a personal exhibition dedicated to German artist Albert Oehlen (1954, Krefeld, Germany) and curated by Caroline Bougeois.

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.

'Cows by the water' 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.

Albert Oehlen (1954, Krefeld, Germany) reveals himself to be a major figure of contemporary painting thanks to his artistic research in constant evolution, dedicated to experiments and to overcoming formal limits rather than to the subject represented.

The artist’s work has already be presented in exhibitions around the world, including at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana in 2017, the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2016, the New Museum in New York in 2015, the Kunstmuseum in Bonn in 2012 and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2009. 'Cows by the water' in Venice is his largest monographic one to date.

Palazzo Grassi, Venice