ALBERT OEHLEN, CHRISTOPHER WOOL et al.
Beautiful, Vivid, Self-contained (group show)
Hill Art Foundation, New York
21 April – 21 July 2023
Work by Albert Oehlen and Christopher Wool will be included in Beautiful, Vivid, Self-contained, an exhibition of paintings and sculptures curated by the artist and writer David Salle. Including works drawn from the foundation’s collection, as well as the collection of Tom and Janine Hill and loans from private collections, the exhibition brings together paintings and sculptures by artists working across different eras, mediums, and geographies to explore the nature of affinity between works of art. As Salle asks in the catalogue essay that accompanies the exhibition: ‘How can works of art be said to “recognize” each other? How do things made decades or centuries apart, things that may look dissimilar on the surface come to have a communality of tone, and of feeling?’ In grouping the works within the exhibition, Salle taps into the power of juxtaposition, thus proclaiming that ‘Juxtaposition is the art of the possible.’
Hill Art Foundation
Albert Oehlen (solo show)
Friedrichs Foundation, Weidingen
27 August – 17 December 2023
When Albert Oehlen set out as a painter in the late 1970s, it was a time out of joint. Given German history, terrorism, 'No Future,' and Nineteen-Eighty-Four as well as the permanent threat of all-out nuclear war, painting could not pretend that the world was safe and sound. As the world shattered, so did painting. As all symbols, signs, and means were damaged and devoid of meaning, he unmasked painting in all its dubiousness. How is one to tell authentic gesture from blunt reproduction, genuine emotion from a disillusioned readymade copy? Oehlen accepts the shattering and transforms it into the basis of his painting. He invents an overtly fragmented image, which is as disoriented as the reality, in which it partakes. Traces, stimuli, and after-images of reality flash stroboscopically across his canvases. It is through this attitude that he has achieved an exceptional degree of painterly liberty, With each new image, he updates and renews the possibilities and impossibilities of painting, thereby granting an appropriate form to a diffuse reality.
For the first time, Albert Oehlen has created an expansive all-over installation, spanning the entirety of the Friedrichs Foundation’s exhibition hall, into which 12 paintings have been playfully integrated.
Ömega Man, 2023 (outdoor sculpture)
Stiftung zur Förderung Zeitgenössischer Kunst in Weidingen / Rodenhof
On view from 15 July 2023
Albert Oehlen’s monumental sculpture Ömega Man, 2023, is now on view to the public in Weidingen, where it emerges from the vast landscape of the Südeifel. Its simplified form and slightly raised steel bars, recessed into their concrete casting, evoke the lightness of a drawing. Here, the persistent importance of the line in Oehlen’s work becomes evident, appearing simultaneously curved and controlled. In this work, the artist uses elements which are both abstract and figurative to critically examine the history and conventions of contemporary art, all the while continuing to acknowledge the importance of classical models. Massive yet fragile in its isolation, Oehlen's Ömega Man appears like a monument from the future. Omega, the last letter of the Greek alphabet, is here written with an umlaut, thereby referring to the artist’s own name.
Stiftung zur Förderung Zeitgenössischer Kunst in Weidingen
Crosstown Traffic (installation)
Two Manhattan West, New York
Crosstown Traffic, a new large-scale mosaic by Christopher Wool, is now permanently installed in the lobby of Two Manhattan West across from Moynihan Station in New York City. The mosaic, at 28 by 39 feet, is the artist's first in the medium and his largest artwork to date. Wool’s work is presented alongside a new stainless-steel sculpture by artist Charles Ray, both of which were commissioned by Brookfield Properties.
CHRISTOPHER WOOL et al.
Faking the Real (group show)
21 September 2022 – 8 January 2023
Christopher Wool is part of the group show Faking the Real in Kunsthaus Graz. Faking the Real explores the question of the manipulation of realities and reveals an evolution from posters in public space through to interventions in social media. The exhibition is part of the large-scale special show The Art of Enticement, which examines 100 years of graphic design and poster art from different perspectives.
ALBERT OEHLEN et al.
Space for Imaginative Actions (group show)
8 May 2022 – 31 January 2024
Works by Albert Oehlen are now represented at the group exhibition Space for Imaginative Actions at Kunstmuseum Bonn. The exhibition celebrated the museum’s thirtieth anniversary and brings together monographic and thematic works from more than forty artists.
The Painter, a film by Albert Oehlen, Oliver Hirschbiegel and Ben Becker
Under the direction of Oliver Hirschbiegel, actor Ben Becker on screen impersonates the contemporary painter Albert Oehlen and re-creates a painting that Oehlen himself and in parallel is creating step by step in the background, with the actor improvising the process in front of the camera. The finished on-screen painting is an original “Oehlen” on which the artist himself never laid hands. The off screen blueprint painting was destroyed after principal shooting had finished.
Originally planned to be a performative statement the projects developed into a fully fledged feature film of 92 minutes, crossing formal boundaries and questioning the meaning of the creative process and the struggle for authenticity on various levels.
The Painter follows the artist / actor as he is struggling and suffering along this process with us watching in joyful despair and what might happen next until the white canvas has turned into a finished painting.
The outcome is a one-man rollercoaster that appears to be a documentary but in fact is a staged and guided improvisation with the “real” process happening behind the camera. The Painter is a constant flow of the artist’s journey with elements of farce and comedy topped with emotional moments of truth...in front of and behind the camera and leaving it up to us to decide what is real and/or authentic.
Watch the trailer here.