Albert Oehlen

Untitled, 2017

Oil on canvas
230 × 180 cm

“A color chart is a starting point for a painting, but it’s also a way of exploring the possibilities of color and the relationships between colors.” — Albert Oehlen.

The emergence of abstract painting had a major impact on classical color theory, representing its applied meaning as well as its role in conceptual perception. It also became a pivotal moment in Albert Oehlen’s career as the artist shifted into abstraction, implicitly parodied the idea of the artist’s struggle by juxtaposing chaotic passages with highly controlled and mediated ones.

Presenting color as object, color charts works by Albert Oehlen deliver an intense analysis of the fundamental principles of artistic practice, namely that of paint and pigment. The random allocation of color into the squares eliminates the hierarchy of both color and compositional theory, focusing on the materiality of paint as the core subject. 

Zurich, LUMA Westbau, Theft is Vision, November 18, 2017 – February 4, 2018

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