Albert Oehlen @Luhring Augustine531 West 24th StNYC 10011
Great show; his strongest in years. Satisfies with the bad-boy moves, but they're virtuosic, too. The space is complex & he's expanding his repertoire. In person there are lots of "how did he do that?" moments. Weird high-relief silkscreen-looking areas that could be just scraping, but are photographic-looking?
think alot of the "wierd" is a mix of acrylic and oil, the push pull verges on bitter and sarcastic.
I really dont see bitter in this work....would somebody bitter do a painting like this?
yeah, i dont see bitter at all. the show is refreshingly fun and challenging. and i agree, in person there are so many unbelievable areas. i cant wait to go back for more.
- "Painter of Light"?
nowhere man you are right this guy is bitter and sarcastic mostly cause he's a painter that thinks paintings dead, well he buys the hype..he knows how to make pretty workbut bitter still...
I didn't see the bitterness, but if you see it, I'm interested in understanding where/how. Can you elaborate?
i am bitter and sarcastic, a few people i was chatting with at the opening really got into it on a "paint" level - i think they missed the "concept" end.and sorry those ink jet prints are so bitter and sarcastic.
Tension-- new word ( better call it new otherwise no wise will follow).This work is beautiful, and does hint towards some disorientation, but the manner mode is still switched on, on account of the brown bit. Move it, at least, to open up the center.
Yes, I was relieved to see the inkjet stuff's gone; doesn't that make this work seem less bitter? A re-embracing of paint?I kinda like the ass-wipe brown bits, awkwardly mopping at the anal-compulsive splat. I read it as a self-mocking gesture.
looking and/or noticing bitterness in painting is a weird concept to me. sounds post-modern and kind of defeatist. when i first saw these paintings i thought they were a little too serial - after the second viewing i really started seeing the subtle experimentation. for someone who's been painting as long as oehlen, they're very open and spontaneous and unencumbered. the only things i really didn't like were the arrow in the small one and the dotted line in this one... seems like when his marks organize into symbols or it makes the rest of the composition also seem calculated; a backdrop for some kind of action or description.
oops, meant to say "looking FOR, and/or noticing..."
Would this be non bitter?http://www.elizabethleach.com/Artist-Detail.cfm?ArtistsID=106
He is one of my favorite painters. I thought his last show was off the charts. I didn't see the Miami show, but I have seen many of his paintings. I was a little dissapointed with this current show. I think he is dangerously close to repeating himself and turning it into a style. I feel as though his perameters have loosened creating a loss of search that I felt was so strong before especially in the previous B+W ones.
reminds me of willie heeks
this does sound defeatist doesn't it?but guess what? some painters have a defeatist attitude,this one in particlar..you can sense when something is cold, bitter, tense or when a painter approaches work with a particular frame of mind..alsoany number of words can be used to describe a painting...
He is one of my favorite painters too scott. I think of him as a conceptual artist. His work uses abstraction to mock itself. He shits on abstraction but makes beautiful paintings dispite himself. Bitter isn't quite the right word for it, though who knows, I don't know him. We need to get his email and invite him to come here and tell us if he is bitter. I find them funny in a way and where there is humor there is often pain or anger or a " negative" emotion. One thing's for certaiin he's not a simple formalist.
Agreed, this is one of the best painting shows up in Chelsea right now. It's so great to see a show in which you can keep looking and discovering with each piece; these are not one-liners, nor are they illustrations of ideas. Rather, they're truly experienced paintings, full of visual ideas and great moments that continually open up. Mothra, I also loved the "shit-brown" smears. They seem to refer to the act of painting as a primal gesture (like infants discovering and then smearing their own poo), but these paintings are so urbane and self-aware that they're never reduced to that single idea. And Dubz, I also am not sure that I can wrap my mind around the concept of Bitterness in art; not sure what that would feel like.
he's also has a fantastic bag of tricksand knows how to paint so he can pull off mocking himself,..
hey clement--i didnt even look at your link.
Its as if he found some great source of inspiration in the mid nineties and started to take control probably surprising himself with just how beautiful and focussed they became. It also very intriguing to contrast this work with his earlier portraiture in the eighties. Mocking is something he is fully aware of and mocking himself, like I had stated earlier, can become too stylish, less creative, more repetitive etc.
um... he's german. makes the work a little less accessible to us (americans) i think. personally, i see rebellion - not bitterness - but it's for his own private use... it's as if he's attempting to destroy his own desire to make paintings of paintings. smear it out, wipe it off, get rid of it, etc...
evoke for ya'll i may be reading to much into it. but what does the title what does the title "Painter of Light" given his past relations with, "paintings" and cliché's it seems to be a comment of some form - beyond surface and material.
totally agree. That makes him an iconoclast.
Is it true that he is being sued by Thomas Kinkaide for using that title? I read it on DKS a few days ago.
kinkaide should sue the sun for making light in the first place.
right... and nike should sue the Ancient Greeks. i am some what sure that Oehlen entered this "kinkaide" conversation with an objective in mind.it is not decorative or stale 3rd gen. boring for this reason.
is he mocking abstraction--or mocking his desire?
Good question. Mocking painting (abstraction) but compelled to make great paintings.
Maybe not "mocking," (which implies being outside of it), but expressing ambivalence, or perhaps making the ambivalence the content for (ironically) true paintings. I think Richter is coming from a weirdly similar place.
the "great painting" part is what made me think "bitter"kinda an "against the wind" but not glib or ironic, more heroic then "iconoclast" but i can see part of it also agreed on Richter - sure there is a better term out there.
Nike SHOULD sue the ancient greeks. I mean Greeks. Sounds like a Michael Chricton Novel in the making.I didnt know who Polke or Ohelen were, nor kippenberger nor Richter in undergrad - wish I had.Serves me right for being lazy and stupid and going to schools that thought art comes from within.SOUL baby.Read Baudrillards Conspiracy of art, specificly the concept of HATE (Im totally serial)Its pretty illuminating, and I think it captures what I would consider "bitterness."head like a hole.black as your soul.i'd rather die than give you control.head like a hole.black as your soul.i'd rather die than give you control.
Bitter isn't bad. Black coffee, dark chocolate, most hard alcohol. Which artists are sweet or salty?
ancient Geek HolerithInvented the punch card. IBM, Nazis...you know the rest.
The spinx said:"why is this night different from all other nights?"Im going to have a bitter beer. I love hops. I forgive you all.
This guy isn't bitter. What has he got to be bitter about? He is mocking others but in a very assertive way without bitterness. He started off with Kippenberger as an iconoclast and has now become an originator after many years of making work. He is due his credit and I'm happy to give it to him rather than someone working out of bitterness.
Bitter is not a perjorative in my lexicon nor apparently in some others. That is so RAD!Biutterness is what keeps abstraction from being wallpaper. Or being wallpaper. SHit. Im not sure anymore.
i have a thomas kinkade village in my pussy
II am self smarted
closeuup or anyone,how do you put a live link in the text and not just the url?
it takes basic html see "Creating A Hypertext Link" (if i copy code in this window it will not work)
thanks nwm, I will try it next time
anyone notice the faces in this painting?Know where they came from?
my guess is they are from gabon or togo - former colonies.A friend of mine mentioned the Dutch like african art. Can anyone support that?
"As long as painting's refutation can take the form of painting, painting has not been refuted.."- a quotable quote from oehlen, on the ambivilence thing
"I hate the stench of a lie."Joseph Conrad
"I love the smell of napalm in the morning"-R Duval
we may have to agree to disagree on our closest friend albert,in my humble/insignificant opinion he only subverts, breaks, destroys, or exposeslingering apparitions.
I want to "waterboard" my brain into submission tonight.Its the german influence. TOmorrow Ill do a more gaelic thing.
poppy in the other thread you mentioned the Germans as being your favored choice, as opposed to (pretentious?) intellectual painting( "some of those germans are good") ..now you seem to be making the case that Oehlen, though you like him, presents an acrimonious, negating viewpoint. I dont agree with this implication, but if it is what you are saying, does that mean that in your view an acrimonious perspective (as a practitioner) on painting is favorable? just curious
i don't think all intellectual painting is pretentious..I also have lots of friends i don't always agree with.. I don't think oehlen presents an acrimonious anything, that was sort of my point. perhaps my words and sentiments are acrimonious/misleading sometimes..I think he's a kick ass painter..
borderline submissions perhaps?I will say i don't see 2 sides of a coinI pick and chew..
Moralizing Occamthough't he'd cut it off embut bachanalian Apollonius coughed: "you are erroneous!and bought 'em.
germans are the hot in bed.
Did anyone see the Hitler portraits and swastika abstractions that that put Oehlen on the map in the mid 80s? He was mining the same Germanic guilt that Keefer, Lüpertz and Immendorf used to make their work seen. Since then he’s morphed into an abstractionist but I think poppy’s regard for the German painting tradition represents a subliminal realization by Americans and particularly New Yorkers that perhaps there is another line of relevant art history beyond the French, (the one force fed to us vie the Alfred Barr timeline and its manifestation as the MoMA collection). Clement Greenberg has stated that American abstraction owes more to the Germans than the French.
germans are hot in bed because they are submissive...
omg it is true! but they like to be taken.
famous for following orders
THanks KJ for the historical backstory. Because most art schools base at least their core programs on Albers and Itten I wonder if we are all influenced by German art in ways we just take for granted.
I've spent time in Germany and its better there than here for artists (male). There are a lot fewer for one thing.And there is a longstanding expectation that they be bad boys, almost a requirement. Oehlen must be in his late fifties so maybe the adolescent thing begins to wear thinn.
As discussed at earlier junctures on this blog, the Germans, whether the Leipzig Schule, the New Berlin scene, or the Reinlandische bunch have a better grasp on how to put together a cohesive group identity that, at least for the purposes of marketing, makes the petty bickering and back stabbing New York is known for look weak in comparison. Don’t kid yourselves, this is about worldwide “cultural dominance” the Germans are willing to invest in promoting an image. Are you willing to buy it? I got my basic arts education in Germany and I love the culture, but I ain’t gon’a punk out.
Google the artists Katrin Plavcak and Sophia Schama. Both good artists who are underrepresented. I've heard Germany/Austria is actually worse for gender parity Tomas but the Germans sure are fun
"Especially the work of Martin Kippenberger manifests this decline [into cynicism]... What up until now has presented itself as cynicism turns out, on closer examination, to be the efforts of little more than a petit-bourgeois German trying to make his mark... sieg heil mein augen musik!read that closely. WHat does it mean, really? Insincere cynicism? How ever can you doubt me?"For every painting is, among other things, an argument about what painting should be. -Roberta smith"all art is a theory about the way art should look and that every painting ever made comments on and is a theory about all the paintings ever made-Jerry Saltz"You people dont breed"-Lady at the barBy which I mean if you quote something (a brrushstroke) without modifying it, its plagiarism, or a Derridean envelope, apparently.
if you want to live in a post-modern theorist world and define painting by theory alone, it becomes a useless exercise. One is doomed to fail as it has all been done before in one way or another.It seems to me that when you go down this path of "all art is theory" then you are bound to fail. In the end the theory defines it, the critic can define you and the work based on it. It becomes this intellectual exercise that is interesting for 15 minutes.
faux indexicalfaux processfaux aestheticization of violencefaux taboofaux fauxfaux faux faux(faux)faux/fauxfaux^fauxfaux(faux)((faux))(((faux)))((((faux))))(((((faux)))))oops I just shit myself.
so art is just decoration for ya pdog? I got a great view of a brick wall. Wanna see it?
“It seems to me that when you go down this path of "all art is theory" then you are bound to fail, as in the end the theory defines it, the critic can define you the art made based on it. It become this intellectual exercise that is interesting for 15 minutes.” Interesting though shop-worn “theory” p-dog. Intellectual masturbation is still masturbation, (he says as he reaches for a Bounty to wipe his fingers.) Can some failures be success?
Comment Deleted This post has been removed by the author.
zipthwung said... Comment Deleted This post has been removed by the author. "12:48 PM"
oops there went another minute. How warholian. Or zen. Was warhol into zen? Lots of people were - there was this dude named Alan Watts and a lot of artsy types grocked his spiel, to use a german word.Spielplatz.
The thing that bothers me about theory is the application of just a few agreed upon people usually French from certain periods of time. Always Wittgenstein and Lacan and a few others. Always the same. What about Ruskin or Spivak or Malreaux or Mauritain or Eagleton or Zizek? How about some variety.
Yves klein was a Rosicrucian. Rothko's ghost got exorcised by Buddhist monks after they bought his apartment. does that count?
no art is not about decoration to me.I just don't think it needs to be defined by post-modern theory all the time.As Kelli said its usually French from certain periods of time seems silly to me.I'm not into it, funny because of this I'm a "decortive painter or someone who likes this kind of work? And if I was why is that bad?Why is making a painting always have to be about all this post-modern angst?
That's funny about Klein. I read a book about how a lot of early abstract artists followed Blavatsky and her nutty spiritual theories. Variety is good.
who cares about the brush stroke?
Why is making a painting always have to be about all this post-modern angst? Because pain sells. Also- guilt. Fear. Anger.Nationalism is under god you know? GOd is camp, go camping. Remember grunge? I felt it, man-so empowering.Remember to ask for odd amounts of change when panhandling - it seems more likely.Kelley, you know as well as I do or dont. that theory is fashion is trend is tin can brand management. Your indignant tone rings like a cracked liberty bell. If free, we are all prisoners of our own freedom. Like a confucian crime bomb. Like a Randroid robot run amuck. Maybe. Thou shalt not hit thine teachers...uless thou hast a heavier rep. Then thy blows shall land with great and exagerated lamentations.Remember remember the fifth of gin and semiotics? Neither do I, and that is why I dont know Sa ssure. I slur. I havent read widely, mostly because I read what they tell me to. Read what they sell and I shall sew what I reap. Repeat. Pete. Grock the Clown bought a tent but did not repent he got a return on the money he spent. I dent.WHat holds your interest? I like critics who toss their hair like Shamin Momin. I dont remember what they say though.
does anyone understand this guy?
Zip my liberty bell got cracked when I sat on it and I only made it to the 999th plateau. I've quoted Jeannette Winterson before. I like her art crticism despite or because it is a little clueless and out of the loop.
I remember being fascinated by the convergence of Casper David Frederich and Swedenborgianism and all that stuff(swedenborg was a precursor to Blavatsky right?)..but I forgot what it was about. Kelli or anyone do you know any good reading on Swedenborg's relation to art...or the philosophical underpinning to German romanticism?
THOUSANDS understand me pdog - my name is legion.Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?Im a revivalist, a survivalist.When I was a child I spake as a child. Geroge bush says:I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Stayed the curse? Indeed its worse! It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks!I am sober, vigillant.I am drunk and indigent. I am devouring. I am pooping. For now we see through a glass, darkly. Who then is a worthy adversary?
The Mass Psychology of Fascism -- Willhelm Reich. If you could only go up and touch her hair...
He influenced artists from Flaxman to Blake. Wish I knew more.
zip you speak in tongues...
Art is a toungue.Ideas of reference or delusions of reference involve a person having a belief or perception that irrelevant, unrelated or innocuous things in the world are referring to them directly or have special personal significance. The two are clearly distinguished in psychological literature. People suffering from ideas of reference experience intrusive thoughts of this nature, but crucially, they realize that these ideas are not real. Those suffering from delusions of reference believe that these ideas are trueIts all true.
feeling that people on television or radio are talking about, or talking directly to them believing that headlines or stories in newspapers are written especially for them having the experience that people (often strangers) drop hints or say things about them behind their back believing that events (even world events) have been deliberately contrived for them, or have special personal significance seeing objects or events as being deliberately set-up to convey a special or particular meaning Let the cat out of the box. If it comes back then youve got a painting.
you are describing paranoid personality traits.Is there a reason?
no reason not to be paranoid p-dog.To become capable of freedom and of securing peace, masses of people who are incapable of freedom will have to have social power. This is the contradiction and its solution.
i care about the brush stroke.
i care about the brushstrokes and want to make cubist paintings againt or van gogh and plan to..i also want to gently stroke my brush i love it so much and i use a brush while stroking, cause my brush is like a german in bed.. i am serious although sometimes it dominates me actually most of the time...Historic houses favour documentation...
In reference to fascism:retalliating against someone for complaining about discrimination is a distinct civil offense which obviates the need to prove that discrimination originally occuredWhere would we be without our system of laws? I sometimes think the current religious wars will plunge us all back into the Dark Ages.
"Historic houses favour documentation" ?mirrors and video go well with paint.i feel like we are in the Dark Disco Ages now nyc 2006 with all the party "Laws" its like a strip mall. step up from everwhere else i have been.
No where I asked somebody what NYC was like in the 80's and he said "really good you don't want to know how good"Closeuup is there an artistic fascist aesthetic outside of Leni Riefenstal and Speer?
ya it pisses me off, i chill with alot of them.- i had recreate my fantzy 8o's in our loft and trap them. only leave for openings, coorprate life, openings and clubs.
i didn't mean I don't care about strokes, its in reference to post-modern critique of gesture and leaving a mark.Which I don't adhear to.I like jucy brush strokes myself.oli paint is a very sensual medium.
I still love New York City thoughhttp://www.nyc.gov/html/cchr/New York has what is generally considered the most aggressive civil/human rights law in the nation
yeah i like em tooi was being serious as well,...historic houses was my speaking in tounges...hey kelli,are you talking about the bad comments someone was making against you in previous post..?I don't know what went on but some people just like to get others goingmaybe..Is there alot of bad mouthing among artists that live in and around NY?
Not at all Poppy. NY is a competitive city true but it is still a great place with lots of nice people.
NoWhere has more fun here than me though.
It’s not even a question of whether the people here (NYC) are nicer than those elsewhere, (they aren’t) but for every historic epic there is always a focal point of group creative genius. It was Rome, then Florence, Venus, Munich, Paris, now here. Maybe it’s already too late but if you’re not here you’re not playing in the bigs.The eighties were vicious. Soho would probably fit more into the idea of fascistic fashion or style ideology due to much of its foundations, (the minimalist, and formalists) within Greenbergian aesthetics. The East Village scene was a kinda funky do it yourself direction. The only over arching theme seemed to be a gay or sexed-up slacker late post punk feel. At least until the “International With Monument” crowd started buffing the French Deconstructivist's line. Personally, I like now, and tomorrow.
come over now i am taking a disco break.. trust me we are always going, always going. projector and smoke machine going.
Blavatsky, I read her, part of grad. research, funny stuff. She reincarnated to the United states, under a much less sinister sounding pen name, and had all these kids--wrote, wrote, and wrote--the origal documents are all up at Yale, along with some other cooky couple that had something to do with some gull who just kept flying, where noone could stop. It's all there. Presidents read it! I head a tale where she, the original woman that we're discussing here, got caught trying to download some mess from above behind a curtain, but instead had something like an Alexander Bell handset thing going on. That's spooky!Mondrain carried his personal copy whereever he went, and it came with him to happy hip boogie drip manattanee like that gordian knot slayer.It's a weird world out there, these wars and religions, and fear ajusters, so i'm up for anything, smoke, screens, energiers, queens, some spiritual slack, would go down well with my chinese tea.I love the world because she loves me, hipy yippy yeeeeeee.You can see the other side with a brush stroke, some say, near death experiences are documented well.nowhere don't you ever stop partying?:)
freidrich...Jackass 2 rocks. A tour de force! Buster Keaton, busby berkley and butt branding! SOme pranks classify as art by inversion.
i agree with scott taylor from early on that the last oehlen show was drop dead perfect and this one a bit less risky. but always oehlen makes me remember that painting can be an inventive, trickster, bad-ass creative thing to do and i love anyone's paintings that give me that feeling inside.
agree with most of you.what a fkn badass.
heh yes.. ttg - i blacked out last night. but the disco ball was on when i woke up and this song...i think it is bitter like Oehlen and i love it read a book
Artistic fascist aesthetic--US Weekly, Twin Towers, Catholic Church, Pop Tarts...??
Rhetoric!!!"Utilizing his writing skills, Newman fought every step of the way to reinforce his newly established image as an artist and to promote his work. An example is his letter in April 9, 1955, "Letter to Sidney Janis: ---It is true that Rothko talks the fighter. He fights, however, to submit to the philistine world. My struggle against bourgeois society has involved the total rejection of it." Barnett Newman Selected Writings Interviews, (ed.) by John P. O'Neill, p.: 201, University of California Press, 1990. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Art_criticism&diff=78442799&oldid=11688392
designiS APPLIED art. Some design sucks because its for morons or fascists.
well kellie brought up art. Both film propaganda and architecture are applied art.I was talking about theories on social suppression. Social suppression as a barrier against making art.
yas, hey if they showed the simpsons in the fifties...i think we are in the hoagans heroes stage.
I mean in art - theres a lot of debunking but not a lot of overt skunking.
Rhetoric! Its like the yippies vs the hippies or something. "Where did we cross that line where we forgot that making a documentary about how everyone would like to have a food co-op is not the same as having a food co-op? I think some people have lost that distinction. Now, about art in the service of the revolution: There is no art in the service of the revolution, becauseif there’s no revolution, there’s no art in its service. So to say that you’re an artist but you’re progressive is a schizo position. We have only capital, so all art is either in its service or it fails. Those are the two alternatives. If it’s successful, it’s in the service of capital. I don’t care what the content is. The content could be Malcolm X crucified on a bed of lettuce. It doesn’t matter.here
Thewres a new movie out with Christina Ricci - the theater was as silent during that preview as in Jackass with the sucicide bomber.....sooo wrong.. SO it was good they got it right...but someone should get it wrong...to get it, right?
Hakim Bey. Hey I remember when I first stumbled on the TAZ when I first got on the internet. I printed it out!Like a jackass, I make art to express my erotic nature. Why? Because I want to see it.
“Swords are the key to heaven”
"I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself"
Well art is tricky. Memorial art including Tribute in Light sort of reminds me of Albert Speer but then if it is meaningful or helpful to people maybe the gap between real and ideal doesn't matter.
this society is fucked.5th-graders saw nude art; board supports principalBy KAREN AYRES / The Dallas Morning NewsFRISCO – A veteran Frisco art teacher says school administrators have retaliated against her because a student reportedly saw a nude sculpture during a field trip to the Dallas Museum of Art.
i saw a group of kids going to jackass - none older than 12. I bet they had a blast.
Frank Gehry is on PBS right now. American Masters. turns out his buildings are "painterly" and JS has a bathrobe fetish.
Richard Serra was asked on Charlie Rose if he thought Gehry and architecture was an art form went off on a very intelligent reason why it is anything but art.I agree with Serra, its functional design with buildings, space and lanscape, it does not deal with the paradigms of art.Gehry is great though and that show on him is good.His design for that huge project in brooklyn is not so good as it shows ego and no sense of scale or care for the neighborhood, and from what I have read has caused a huge outcry from the people who live in the area.
This ohelen dude is informed by 3d computer graphics, but not at a user level - from a painters POV. Not a otopian or visionary mooovie.Because we now refuse to deny the direct dependence and responsibility of art vis-à-vis reality, and on the other hand see no chance for art as we know it to have an effect, there is only one possibility left: failure"
The ship is the heterotopia par excellence. In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates. Yar dude. I cracked someones code. Somehwere. Pick a scull.
Master and Commander w Russel Crowe. "This ship IS ENGLAND!" good movie
or you can go with Pirates of the Carribean.Probably my choice, given a desert island.
Good one closeupI also liked swiss family robinson when it came out.
The Disney Studios bought up the rights to the 1940 version produced and distributed by RKO, then Walt Disney confiscated all known prints of RKO Radio Pictures version so there wouldn't be comparisons to the Disney remake.Thats the way to do it.
no hablo hollywood
"We who are about to die salute you!"
*Zip!Two keys--Fall: Leaves dissolving morning in pleasant mind.Or: [We] the humble slayers of truth.
A bit belated Cooky, but...On german romanticism... isn't "Modern Painting and the Northern Romantic Tradition: Friedrich to Rothko (Icon Editions) by Robert Rosenblum (Paperback - May 1977)" a classic?
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