Monumental Albert Oehlen at the Serpentine Gallery

Albert Oehlen, Selbstportrait mit Pferd, 1985 © Albert Oehlen Photo: Archive Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin | Paris

Albert Oehlen, Selbstportrait mit Pferd, 1985 © Albert Oehlen Photo: Archive Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin | Paris

#LONDON While Frieze has just opened its doors, Albert Oehlen, a German artist represented by the very “serious” and powerful Gagosian Gallery, is taking over the Serpentine Gallery as a prelude to one of the most trendy fairs. The event of course, attracts the usual aeroplane of collectors, curators, advisors, people and jetset who now gravitate in each of the appointments of Contemporary Art blurring the tracks a little more every day.

At the centre of the institution, a monumental installation marks the beginning of the interpretation process of the Rothko Chapel in Houston, specially designed for the occasion by Albert Oehlen. And it is four new paintings – the same size as the chapel’s – that take up our time from the entrance. Then in orbit or in dialogue according to its position, with the central installation, a selection of works by the German visual artist guides us to the sound of a random access soundtrack that accompanies us at regular intervals in the scenography.

True to his approach, Albert Oehlen‘s surrealist gestures and expressionist brushstrokes aim to write a certain history of painting, pushing its limits towards extremes that are daring to say the least. Pursuing his logic of deconstruction – colour, line, movement and time – he mixes abstract and figurative style and uses a whole arsenal of various techniques, from digital to collages and even spraying to establish, if this is not yet the case, the demonstration of his mastery. Then remains his language, surprising in this rather wise and policed chaos that feels the dilemma, between the desire for freedom and the limits of the market.


Albert Oehlen

from October 2 to January 12, 2020

Serpentine Galleries

Lili Tisseyre

Journalist then production director, Lili Tisseyre directed the creation and editorial management of the first web content for the Endemol group’s Real Tv show in the early 2000s. Holder of a...

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