Albert Oehlen, FM 46, 2011, oil on wood, 54 13/100 x 81 71/100"


Albert Oehlen

Carré d'Art - Musée d'Art Contemporain
Place de la Maison Carrée
June 24–October 9

Curated by Françoise Cohen

In the early 1980s, Albert Oehlen made a name for himself with brash figurative paintings that dripped with punk attitude and Expressionist energy. However, as the German artist’s career has taken shape, his artistic investments have shifted, and now when we think of Oehlen’s work what comes to mind is abstract painting driven by an unrepentant formalism. Riffing off the painterly tropes of American AbEx—most pointedly those of de Kooning—Oehlen has updated the movement’s pictorial language, for example by reimagining the gesture of a brush-wielding hand as the cramped sweep of a computer mouse across its pad. The Carré d’Art will bring together more than thirty-five such large-scale canvases from four bodies of work made since the early 1990s, including ten new “finger paintings” never before exhibited. It’s a welcome chance to take stock of this central aspect of Oehlen’s work, especially now, as discussions around gestural painting swirl anew.