Text by Stephan Berg, John Corbett, Christoph Schreier.
For over 30 years, German painter Albert Oehlen (born 1954) has been building a body of work distinguished by its skeptical questioning of painting as a medium. Instead of turning his back on painting, though, the artist has chosen to engage with this skepticism within the medium itself. Oehlen followed his rude, provocative Neo-Expressionist attacks of the 1980s with a cooler brand of computer-based images in the 1990s, followed by a subsequent series of painted-over advertising and his more recent, abstract expressionist works, all while striving to maintain a balance of painterly passion and critical distance. This catalogue features exemplary works from the artist’s various creative periods, and emphasizes two unifying themes that run throughout Oehlen’s work: his engagement with abstraction and his notion of “post-non-figurative painting,” and the often underemphasized relation of his line to his plane and his drawing to his painting.