Renowned German contemporary artist, Albert Oehlen, completes his most ambitious United States exhibition, featuring 45 acclaimed works. The exhibit, created with the Cleveland Museum of Art, showcases the extraordinary artistic range of Oehlen, who has made his mark on the art world since the 1970s. Featuring both new and seen works, the artist showcases his pieces from the last 30 years.
Interestingly, the Albert Oehlen: Woods near Oehle exhibit features collaborative works with close friends of the artist’s and even musical contributions. Oehlen collaborated with Swiss drummer and composer Michael Wertmüller for a multimedia piece that is featured as well. The exhibit, which is currently being shown until March 12, showcases the extraordinary range of Oehlen as an artist. In an article written by the Cleveland Museum of Art, they explain, “The exhibition reflects this complex layering of methods, subject matter and view points, while also celebrating an artist who continues to have an immeasurable influence on contemporary art.”
One of Oehlen’s most recognizable subjects is his series of Baumbilder or Tree Paintings. The tree has been a recurring feature of his art since the 1980s, but his most recent pieces for the series were completed in 2013.
While Oehlen uses an abundance of different substrates to include canvas, wood and metal for his Baum series, several of his pieces utilize Dibond aluminum composite material as a substrate. The vertical pieces on Dibond use a “monochromatic color gradient” as the Cleveland Museum of Art explains.
Oehlen, in previous interviews, has expressed his reasoning for choosing Dibond specifically, noting that its smooth texture made it abundantly different than other substrates. The museum further describes the pieces as, “…cold and sterile; they remove the motif of the tree even further from anything that is natural. The tree skeletons, which are all depicted in a carefully balanced floating state, make an extremely artificial impression in this fascinating, new series.”
Photography/art courtesy of ©Albert Oehlen
Information courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art