Jun 18, 2020
Before Albert Oehlen was a painter he was a disciplined Maoist who thought being an artist was a silly bourgeois pursuit. His notion of art and artists changed while killing time in a bar where he happened to meet a group of art students. After chatting with the students about T Rex and Albert Ayler, the students urged him to join them as a student of the great Sigmar Polke. Albert took their advice and has been a key figure in contemporary art since.
Albert came of age as an artist amid the, early-’80s milieu of Berlin, Cologne, and Hamburg, grabbing public attention as part of a group of young German artists that included Werner Büttner, Georg Herold, and Martin Kippenberger, whose aim, was to shock and provoke.
Albert's paintings combine abstract, figurative, collaged and computer-generated elements. Through Expressionist brushwork, Surrealist gestures and deliberate amateurism, Albert pushes painting's essential components of color, gesture, motion and time to new extremes.
Albert discusses what it means to be an artist, his friendships, and the often absurdist sources of his paintings ideas.