Albert Oehlen

Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris

Albert Oehlen has pledged to reveal his own history of abstraction in this exhibition of paintings and drawings, “Abstract Reality.” Most ofthe paintings were made in 2008, but the “history” here is provided by a handful of paintings made since 1989. It is not easy to discern what kind of history Oehlen wants to convey, apart from showing that he has been making large abstract paintings for most of his career but has in recent works lightened his palette, begun to incorporate posters and other collaged elements, and turned from “bad” to “beautiful” painting. Indeed, in an interview with the curator of the exhibition, Anne Montfort, Oehlen confesses that beauty is his goal—and he seems to mean this in a straightforward way—but to just what effect such beauty is sought remains problematic. Whereas his early works are associated with those of his fellow ironists Martin Kippenberger and Werner

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