Alfonso Artico gallery is glad to announce the opening of the show of Albert Oehlen, on 18th September, with the presence of the artist.
Albert Oehlen will exhibit six works: five big paintings with the traditional acrylic oil on canvas: Auf die ruhige Tour 2002. Doppelbild 2002, Saat des 2002, Six Feet Under 2002, dr 2000; and a computer generated work: Ohne title.
Albert Oehlen proposed as title of his first personal show in a contemporary art gallery in 1982, an emblematic sentence, mirror of his artistic path. Before that someone else paint, I prefer to do it. The progression of this artist, enfant terrible with Werner Büttner, Gerog Herold and Martin Kippenberger in the artistic scene of the 80’s, is unexpected for its variety.
Towards the 80's, extremely dense paintings with no recognisable figures gradually begin to supersede the tongue-in-check scenarios of the early years. Oehlen begins to choose a rather simplistic abstraction for his oil paintings, to reach a kind of false abstraction, which he then deliberately complements with large-scale drawings considerably more figurative than anything he had done bifore.
It’s impossibile to use the opposite terms of abstact or figurative for the works of Albert Oehlen, since they belong to the hackneyed vocabulary of post-war art criticism. Albert Oehlen never tires of pointing out the absurdity of this contrast. We know that the so-called figurative is all around us. The eye figures to see, but at the very moment the eye perceives an object, it abstracts it, placing it within a spatial, cultural and affective structure which is, nothing more than memory, or the invisible web of threads woven between the different elements of memory. Abstract and figurative are two mutable and overlapping concepts which tend to be mutually dependent rather than contradictory.
Analizing Albert Oehlen’s production, we can see an evolution towards the abstraction of the last paintings. The dimensions of the works also change. Albert Oehlen, as the time goes by, prefers very big canvas. His works have got a double face, they are surely abstract, but they present always some figurative elements: the artist, a bull, a window, a column. The direction of the themes are multiple: often politics may be blended with self-effacing irony, the absurd with the serious, the untruth with the historical facts.
In the 90’s, we can also clearly discern the loss of identità: immediately recognisable objects are few and far between. The canvases, covered in bold brushstrokes and colours, bear forms which are alternately distinct and blurred, in which a realist element interrupts this chaos of warm colours, strong gestural expressiveness: an eye or a mouth.
Themes and figures seem to be exhausted and Albert Oehlen seems to operate a deconstruction. “I reject every pictorial ethics”. His technics implies twisting, breaking and reducing, disrepectful to the materials. Now, along with paintings, he uses computer to create advertisments and collages. Anyway his program is still to assault Art and find its weak point.