Geometric patterns, anthropomorphic characters, architectural spatial environments, and relics of the ancient world appear throughout Jess Johnson's artworks.Johnson's solo art-ventures began in drawing, but her long-term collaborative relationship with animator Simon Ward brings her drawings to life in videos and virtual reality. The animator has...
In 2012, Melati Suryodarmo opened Studio Plesungan in her native Surakarta, also known as Solo, the historic royal capital of the Mataram Empire of Java in Indonesia. Suryodarmo had returned to Indonesia from Germany, where she studied Butoh and choreography with Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa, time-based media with avantgarde...
Under the direction of Folakunle Oshun, the second edition of the Lagos Biennial (26 October–23 November 2019) includes works by over 40 Lagos-based and international artists, architects, and collectives. Curated by architect Tosin Oshinowo, curator and producer Oyindamola Fakeye, and assistant curator of photography at the Art Institute of...
Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...
'These paintings are made in such a way that they accept order only very reluctantly. Eventually there is some form of order, but they strive against it.'
Gagosian is pleased to present a series of new paintings in watercolour on canvas by Albert Oehlen, his first exhibition in Asia.
Oehlen approaches painting as a perceptual challenge, a puzzle set within the unpredictable arena of the picture plane. He often imposes specific rules or limitations on his work-keeping to a certain palette or beginning with a straight line-as a way to interrogate the infinite possibilities that the act of painting presents. By continuously flipping between chaos and control, he opens up new relationships between pictorial space, colour, and gesture.
In these new paintings, Oehlen emphasises the importance of spontaneity within his artistic method. Diverging from his recent works created with oil or lacquer on aluminium or the aluminium composite Dibond, Oehlen's decision to use watercolour in this series marks a stylistic return to his hazy, blended, almost impressionistic oil paintings dating from 2016 and earlier.
Oehlen begins with a chalky white ground, across which he flicks and stains splashes of fluid colour. Hues dart between canvases: the same intense shade of magenta-a colour he previously referred to as 'hysterical' in the context of his Tree Paintings (2013-2016)-meanders snakelike from painting to painting, puncturing through the murky veil of watercolours in a vivid streak before resurfacing elsewhere as a series of dots peppered down the canvas. Oehlen revels in the dynamism of his lines, allowing them to come to life and dictate each twist of his ever-shifting compositions.
Nevertheless, Oehlen's frenzied brushstrokes are tempered by moments of painterly control. Interspersed between splotches and swipes of colour are lines, curves, and gradients, all delineated with satisfying uniformity. While his paintings initially appear to lack geometric regularity, they are in fact filled with clean-cut right angles-including a recurring L-shaped motif, which recalls the artist's yellow-and-black paintings from his 2018 exhibition SEXE, RELIGION, POLITIQUE. These forceful right angles-along with rectangular window-like apertures and eerie humanoid forms-are enshrouded deep within the canvas, their watery facture only adding to their frustrating, tantalising ephemerality. Swallowed up by the slashes of pigment surrounding them, these loose strands of figuration ultimately dissipate within a churning whirlwind of colours.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with a text by art historian Christian Malycha.
An exhibition of Oehlen's work curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist will open at the Serpentine Galleries in London on October 2, 2019.
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