Aïshti Foundation is delighted to present Trance, an exhibition in three parts where Albert Oehlen plays simultaneously the role of the artist, the curator and the collector.
One of the most respected painters today, Albert Oehlen has explored the possibilities of painting since the 1980's, constantly questioning its methods and means through an ever-evolving style and technique. At the core of his practice are the limitations he imposes on himself as a point of departure, in order to have 'something to push against' and thereby expand and redefine our understanding of painting.
Oehlen's practice began with figurative paintings, which were defying the context of the 1980's were minimal and conceptual art prevailed. His provocative position, subjects and manner have been linked to the notion of Bad Painting throughout the early 1980's alongside artists such as Werner Büttner and Martin Kippenberger. Oehlen has moved towards abstract painting in the late 1980's, continuously redefining his own vocabulary. His first abstract paintings were notably followed by black and white computer-based paintings, collaged canvases with fragments of advertising posters and paint applied on top, Fingermalerei (Finger Paintings) in the 2000's and paintings fully covered with poster cutouts.The survey exhibition ranges from early figurative works from the 1980's till his 2018 series on a bright yellow background. Many of the works on display in the building designed by David Adjaye are monumental in scale.
The works demonstrate Oehlen's creative strength, seemingly questioning the legacy of the anterior generation of artists such as Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke who, like Oehlen, innovated and redefined painting.
Highlight of the show include the artist’s own version of the Rothko Chapel that features large rectangular collages, serving as a critique of our consumer societies, along Tree Paintings and Elevator Paintings.
Dialoguing with Oehlen works, pieces from his personal collection gathering artists he admires such as Martin Kippenberger, Daniel Richter or André Butzer are presented alongside works from Elham and Tony Salamé's collection which include works by Richard Prince, Christopher Wool, Etel Adnan, Fouad Elkoury, Franz West and Jana Schröder in a group show curated by the artist himself.