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Drawings & Notes

24 July 2022
Albert Oehlen | Untitled, 2022 | watercolor and ink on carton | 30.5 x 22.9 cm

Albert Oehlen

Untitled, 2022
watercolor and ink on carton
30.5 x 22.9 cm

Albert OehlenWorks on Paper and a Sculpture
9 June – 30 July 2022
Gagosian Gallery, Athens

Links: [Gagosian Gallery]

Albert Oehlen
Untitled, 2022
paper and plastic sheet on paper
30.5 x 22.9 cm

Albert Oehlen
Untitled, 2022
watercolor, pencil and ink on carton
30.5 x 22.9 cm

[from the pressrelease]
In several of twenty-one small works in watercolor and ink on paper on view in Athens, Oehlen also refers to the same source as the John Graham paintings of his 2021 exhibition at Gagosian Beverly Hills. In these new drawings, Oehlen works alternately in black and white and with a restricted color palette, picturing biomorphic forms alongside wholly abstract passages, infusing both with anarchic energy.

In thirteen larger works in ink, paper, pencil, and watercolor, on paper, Oehlen refers to his Ö-Norm paintings of 2020–21. Characterized by wandering organic lines that often stretch to the edges of their supports, the drawings share with their root paintings a raw, unfinished quality and establish a tension between elegance and abjection. Here, drawing becomes an arena in which ideas of authenticity and expression undergo a thorough but still playful reassessment through experimentation with line, shape, and tone. An additional large charcoal drawing from 2016 features a loose web of black lines that traces the expansive gestures and directional shifts of the artist’s hand.

Finally, in six collages from 2009, Oehlen juxtaposes various found images and materials, including posters, postcards, stickers, and magazine advertisements, with original drawings and prints. These pared-down compositions allude to the continual reframing of aesthetic value and conceptual weight characteristic of twenty-first century consumer culture, while the heterogeneity of their components also challenges the viewer to uncover further visual and thematic links.

Albert Oehlen
Untitled, 2009
collage on paper
100 x 70 cm

12 March 2016

Albert Oehlen

Untitled, 2016
charcoal on paper
300 x 200 cm

Albert Oehlen. Works on Paper
12 March – 16 April 2016
Galerie Max Hetzler

Albert Oehlen

Untitled, 2014
ink on paper
24,5 x 18,5 cm

[from the pressrelease]
Albert Oehlen’s graphic work forms a central part of his multifaceted oeuvre. Even though the affinity and interaction with his paintings is visible, Oehlen’s works on paper distinguish themselves from his paintings and mark an independent category. The exhibition at Galerie Max Hetzler shows a series of small-sized drawings as well as larger works on paper and a wall drawing.

Restless dashes, drawn with ink, form complex arrangements on white paper. Black lines are crossing and overlaying each other, condensing into tortuous bundles before fleeing into the void. Upon small format Oehlen develops works that occupy and survey this particular space. Beside abstract elements also human forms – bodies or mere single limbs – can be perceived, spreading over the sheet and immediately dissolving into abstraction.

Much more reduced in his large-scaled drawings, Oehlen creates gestural marks with black charcoal on paper which underscore the intuitive moment that is intrinsic to the act of drawing. Well-defined lines are the traces of expansive bodily gestures and sudden changes in direction of the artist’s hand. Although the process happens both faster and more direct than in his painterly work and the result seems to be impulsive and spontaneous, it is in its entirety subtly constructed by Oehlen. He deliberately leaves blank spaces, doubles existing lines, smudges traces of charcoal and thus develops a plain, concentrated image structure.

A weblog about contemporary drawing, scribbles, notes and an occasional painting or photograph. Click on images to go directly to original pictures, or on the links to learn more about the artist involved. 

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