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Markus Oehlen

Galerie Gisela Capitain

Markus Oehlen has somewhat ironically characterized his paintings as “Informal Pop,” and this phrase sums up one’s initial impression of the work: bright colors in multiple layers and apparently hasty gestures combine to create an almost psychedelic effect. The paintings are not quite what they seem, however; on closer examination, one realizes that their apparent spontaneity is the result of an elaborate process.

Oehlen creates linoleum cuts and then projects the patterns onto the canvas, drawing the projected shapes with meticulous care, adding still more and more layers, using felt-tip pens and oil paint to create precise borders and edges. Complex, abstract, and frequently overlapping structures emerge through this process: amorphous shapes are overlaid on stripe patterns, suggesting micro- and macro-structures.

Like the computer-generated paintings by Oehlen’s brother Albert, these

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