About the Exhibit - Tramonto Spaventoso
Albert Oehlen’s exhibit, Tramonto Spaventoso, is on view at Gagosian’s Beverly Hills Gallery from April 22–June 5, 2021. Gagosian's LA gallery space is right off of Rodeo Drive, so you really get the full "LA experience" when you visit.
This exhibit is the second part of “his version of the Rothko Chapel in Houston as well as other new paintings.” To read more about the first part of the exhibit at Serpentine Gallery in London, see my blog post here.
The Rothko Chapel in Houston is an environment that plays with the relationship between art and architecture, as well as the spiritual and physical realms. Oehlen creates these large scale works (similar to Rothko’s) that become equal with the building they're displayed in.
A key difference in this exhibit and the one at Serpentine was Oehlen’s use of many different kinds of materials. He incorporates more than just a variety of paint, but fabrics as well.
“In the large-scale canvases on view at the Beverly Hills gallery, Oehlen employs acrylic, spray paint, charcoal, and patterned fabric to interpret and transform John Graham’s painting Tramonto Spaventoso (Terrifying Sunset) (1940–49), a work by the Russian-born American modernist painter that he discovered in the 1990s and has been fascinated with ever since.” - Gagosian (source)
Like many abstract figurative painters, Oehlen strikes the perfect equilibrium between freedom and stability in his form.
“While championing self-consciously amateurish “bad” painting, Oehlen continues to infuse expressive gesture with Surrealist attitude, openly disparaging the quest for reliable form and stable meaning.” - Gagosian (source)
To see a walkthrough of the exhibit, see the video below.
About the Artist - Albert Oehlen
Albert Oehlen is a German artist who lives and works in Bühler, Switzerland and Segovia, Spain. He studied at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg in Germany.
“Albert Oehlen’s oeuvre is a testament to the innate freedom of the creative act. Through expressionist brushwork, surrealist methodology, and self-conscious amateurism he engages with the history of abstract painting, pushing the basic components of abstraction to new extremes.” - Gagosian (source)
"Qualities that I want to see brought together: delicacy and coarseness, color and vagueness, and, underlying them all, a base note of hysteria." —Albert Oehlen (source)
To get an idea of this market value, His current auction record is $7,542,157, for a painting that sold at a Sotheby's auction in London in 2019. (source)