Gerhardsen Gerner

Markus Oehlen

30 Jan - 06 Mar 2014

© Markus Oehlen
Positive painting – Dark version #4, 2014
Acrylic on canvas
135 x 120 cm (53,15 x 47,24 in)
30 January – 6 March 2014

Gerhardsen Gerner is very pleased to announce the third solo exhibition with Markus Oehlen.

Markus Oehlen is one of the outstanding representatives of the Neue Wilden movement, which was especially active in Germany during the 1980s, and used a punk style that stood in opposition to minimalism. The aim was to attack the high-browed nature of minimalism with a style of painting that is based on instinct and gesturally emphasizes the wild, spontaneous, obsessive and sensual. The pictures on large canvasses convince through their radical approach to painting.

Markus Oehlen has continuously developed his work and, in parallel with painting, also works on sculptures and musical projects. His new works are increasingly inspired by the perceptual experiments of Op Art, with printed image interferences that occur in grid-like patterns above and below the layers of the picture. Along with forms that are oriented toward computer aesthetics, this brings an aspect of serialism to the images. It can be understood as a humorous and ironic commentary on the expressive nature of painting and – in retrospect – on the Neuen Wilden movement itself.

Markus Oehlen's complex, layered pictures are composed of a plethora of found images, shapes and distorted painterly elements which, taken out of their previous context, take on a new function and meaning. By rearranging the individual compositional elements of the canvasses in the context of art, Markus Oehlen creates surreal still lifes that were not originally so intended, playing with the notion of randomness and suggesting strange narratives.

At Gerhardsen Gerner, Markus Oehlen presents new small and medium-sized canvases that accentuate lines, color and composition and place the motif further and further in the background. The density of information and the multiple layers of the images are reduced in favor of more abstract content.

Markus Oehlen was born in 1956 in Krefeld. From 1976 to 1982 Oehlen studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and at the time was also active as the drummer in the bands Charley's Girls and Mittagspause. He also played in Flying Klassenfeind, Vielleichtors and Van Oehlen and was also co-founder of the legendary Ratinger Hof in Düsseldorf. Since 2002 he has been a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.

Exhibitions: LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn (2012), Kunsthalle Gießen (2010), Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden (2010), Centro Cultural Andratx (2009), ZKM, Karlsruhe (2009), Ursula Blickle Stiftung (2007), Frankfurter Kunstverein (2007); Haus der Kunst, München (2005), Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2005), Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (2000), MoMA, New York (1993).

Tags: Markus Oehlen