NAPLES, ITALY.- For the first time in an Italian museum, the works of Albert Oehlen will be presented at the Museo di Capodimonte. The artist will present a collection of his new work which reflect the latest results of his research following his constant exploration of the methods and the meaning itself of painting.
"Albert Oehlen developed a way to treat the language of art in order to take it outside of its own semantic needs. He has always understood how to construct observation or auditory space without cross-references through design, color, two-dimensional or plastic forms, with an internal echo which defines the autonomy of the creation meant as a combinatory and paradoxically tautological gesture." (A. Bonito Oliva)
The desire for "emotions", intended as the "effects" of art on our souls and, at the time, the desire to revive Pop Art, have caused Oehlen to experiment with elements such as color, clarity and vivacity. In his latest works, the German artist places publicity posters on the canvas and then intervenes upon both with oil paints. The result is an abstract painting that has an innate irritability caused by the "intruding" publicity. Fascinated by the increasingly "sophisticated" nature of this publicity, Oehlen introduces them into his works to demonstrate various motifs without having to introduce a specific context, a declaration of their content. The basic concept is beauty, a different type of exploration of approach and method, just as it is for Abstract Art, where the elements of the painting are not connected but become pure form. Each of these can have meaning and can produce different "effects" or emotions which are separate from the context in which they are contained.
"The result is a map showing a geography of open pathways without a center or periphery, with a movement toward a viewing without stopping points, carried and stimulated above all toward the progressive and reversible changes. If beauty is a coin of nature which needs to be circulated, as Rilke said, and if art is the production of beauty, then Oehlen reinforces this possibility through the production of images that adopt the support of posters, the ultimate commercialized emblems, in order to produce a short circuit with his sign systems with which he underlines, concentrates, condenses and erases." (A. Bonito Oliva)
Albert Oehlen, born in Krefeld in 1954, lives and works in Spain and Switzerland. His exhibitions in museums include: Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2006); Arnolfini, Bristol (2006); Kunsthaus Graz (2006); MOCA Miami (2005); Secession, Vienna (2004); Musée Cantonal de Lausanne (2004); Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg (2002); Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanover (2001); Kunsthalle Basel (1997) and IVAM Valencia (1996).