May 26, 2015 - Kunsthalle Zürich - Albert Oehlen
May 26, 2015

Albert Oehlen

Albert Oehlen, I 5, 2009. Paper on canvas, 190 x 220 cm. Photo: Albert Oehlen / Stefan Rohner.

Albert Oehlen
An Old Painting in Spirit

30 May–16 August 2015

Opening: 29 May 2015, 6pm

Kunsthalle Zürich
Limmatstrasse 270
CH-8005 Zurich

Albert Oehlen’s first major institutional exhibition took place in the Kunsthalle Zurich in 1987 under the title Abräumung (Clearing Away). Now, almost 30 years later, comes the second public presentation of this German painter, born in 1954 and now living in Appenzell for more than ten years. In view of his most recent works it can be said that Oehlen is today one of the path-breaking artists, precisely because he ploughs up our ideas of painting, beauty, seeing and thinking. One aspect of this is that he comes out with assertions which, like his art, leave us asking questions. For example:

“In the land of motifs, no light is left burning.”

“Just push a window open and, as one of my friends says, let justice in.”

“Art has always quarrelled with the real, by getting in close to it and cheekily having a go at the actual.”

“Right, you have to expose the medium to as much pressure as possible, and then proper beauty will come out of it.”

An Old Painting In Spirit in the Kunsthalle Zurich brings together for the first time works from the 1980s, two painting cycles and a selection of about 80 rarely shown drawings. One first impression will be of variety, as if several artists had been working here. A vehemently maintained brown-grey painting style meets highly coloured canvases, collaged from advertising posters, which in turn hang next to very recent pictures painted on Dibond aluminium panels. The latter show tree-like black forms on red-and-white backgrounds and are unromantically tough. In An Old Painting In Spirit image ideas and painting styles encounter each other in a way you would think impossible. They test the boundaries of painting and challenge our expectations. And yet they also tell of something quite different: of the daring required to clear away space with the brush, again and again, and this emphatically deserves to be recognised as a high form of beauty.

Press information for the exhibitions: Friday 29 May, 10am 

We would be happy to provide additional information and press images: 
T +41 (0) 44 272 15 15 / presse [​at​]

Theory & programs 
The exhibitions includes a special art education and event program, which will be announced in detail on our webpage.

Kunsthalle Zürich receives generous funding from Stadt Zürich Kultur; Kanton Zürich Fachstelle Kultur; Zürcher Kantonalbank – Partner of Kunsthalle Zürich; and LUMA Foundation

Kunsthalle Zürich
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