Albert Oehlen

Oehlen - Song X

Albert Oehlen, Song X, 2004, courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

Albert Oehlen - Title Unknown

Albert Oehlen, from Google Images--title, dimensions, date unknown

oehlen - thumbnail

from artnet report on 2005 Miami art fairs (a 2003 Oehlen painting)

Among the German neo-Dada, neo-Expressionist style artists still looming large over the art world, Oehlen showed the greatest commitment to incorporating the computer into his art, with cheesy spray-on fill patterns mingling with AbEx brushwork (middle image above) and egregious photoshop collages (top image, with Lawnmower Man-like virtual noodling in place of fill patterns). Egregious in a good way--his irony and skepticism about this brave new medium always came through. In his last few New York shows he seems to have backed off the "cyber" influence in favor of mushy expressionism (bottom image). I hope this isn't because of collector conservatism keeping "pure painting" on life support. Possibly Oehlen continues to show work in Europe that reflects the warped world we actually live in.

Consumer Media Format Logos

Jeff at Double Happiness offers a portrait of the neurosis that is our reality (as Adolf Gottlieb once described the subject matter of Abstract Expressionism). All these different electronic media and delivery systems (blu-ray, dvd video, dvd audio, hdtv, hd dvd, hdmi, divx, vhs, thx, dolby digital, firewire, super audio cd, laserdisc, ilink, usb, represented in his post in stark logo form) are somehow supposed to comfortably exist together in our consciousness and as consumers we never, never ask whether they can or should be reconciled because we all understand that constantly changing or conflicting formats are the offshoot of progress and capitalism is messy but forever The Way.