ALBERT OEHLEN ON THE DEATH OF PAINTING

Untitled, 1994. Silkscreen and acrylic on canvas. Albert Oehlen

 

Albert Oehlen, Rhineland 1954. He began his training at the Fine Arts High School of Hamburg, later received knowledge on advertising and this boosted his artistic career. He began in the 80's in a generation of artists as well known as Martin Kippenberger or Werner Büttner. This group of nonconformists did not conceal their disagreement with the dominant ideology of their time. As for his work, it is necessary to emphasize his beginnings within the abstract expressionism in the "Neue Wilde", works of great size with a marked tone of social criticism.

 

 

Untitled (Head of idiot) 1988. Oil on canvas. Albert Oehlen

 

 

The main theme of the artist is artistic freedom. This force is reflected in his work with the incorporation of new techniques that wink at the past and generate a new sensation, which articulates a discourse both different and familiar. With his work, Oehlen brings his little bit of sand to the debate that arose at the end of the 20th century on the death of painting. His response, continue to paint, is his means of expression and protest.

 

 

Untitled (Tree 1) 2013. Oil on Dibond. Albert Oehlen

 

 

The exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, curated by Petra Joos, explores the extent to which we are able to see beyond the artist's work. One of the characteristics of this display is the diversity between the different stages of the exhibition, just as Oehlen's work is disparate and familiar in equal parts. The common nucleus unites them and complements them articulating an anthological discourse of the artist.

 

 

He making pottery, 2012. Oil on canvas. Albert Oehlen

 

 

The exhibition, "Albert Oehlen: Behind the Picture" shows the whole essence of this genius recognized by all as a celebrated postwar artist, exhibits its pictorial complexity. The exhibition does not pretend to be a retrospective but a declaration of intentions that you can enjoy until February 5, 2017. The parts, "Self-portraits", "Paintings by computer", "Abstract paintings" and "Trees" are completed with a series Of activities that reveal all the internal keys of the exhibition.

 

 

 

Thirteen years have passed since its beginnings, and in all this time the Video Art Festival PROYECTOR has grown and consolidated its position as an essential event in this discipline. Since its inception, the initiative has tried to give visibility to a discipline that has always been relegated to the background in the usual exhibition circuits. Although video creation is not new, since it emerged by its own in the 60s of last century, the way to get to know it and enjoy it has not always been easy. On many occasions, the exhibitions only included a few isolated pieces within the main route, as if the video was the anecdotal contribution to the whole. However, our daily lives are invaded by moving images, and there is a paradox that video art, despite being a format of artistic expression very much in tune with the habits of today's society, remains a minority discipline

Frame from “Hel City”, by Gregorio Méndez Sáez, 2019

To some extent, PROYECTOR was born to reverse this situation, to value video as a creative format and to offer a wide, itinerant space to host a multitude of proposals, coming from inside and outside our borders. In this time, the growth of the festival has led it to travel the world, but also, to be a benchmark that each year arouses more interest. In the open call to receive proposals, they reach almost half a thousand, and a hundred works selected by the jury are a representative sample of different ways of understanding video creation, with pieces mainly from Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

In turn, PROYECTOR wants to be more than a video showcase and offers a large program with talks, workshops, masterclasses, meetings with artists, visits and concerts. A complete experience that always has the moving image as a backdrop.

El Instante Francisco Ruiz de Infante. El bosque que se mueve (errores de medida)

In this evolution, another circumstance stands out: video is a creative format that has its own codes, but it is also one of the disciplines most open to artistic hybridization and the widening of uses. The video may, therefore, be the genuine idea of an author who conceives an autonomous project to be carried out in this format, but it can also be the complementary result of an action or the documentary record of a previous performance being recorded to guarantee its survival. The versatility of the moving image and the potential that it has acquired in recent years allows us today to speak of numerous branches of art that focus on the fusion of languages and the integration of techniques and methodologies from other sectors, and in many of them, the video is still a cornerstone. So it is with technological art, interactive sound art, performance recording, the transformation from big data to image, artificial intelligence, and a long etcetera. Precisely for this reason, PROYECTOR offers a panoramic vision of this reality, with an extremely interesting program that plays with the variety and wealth of proposals.

Frame from “Herdança”, by Thiago Rocha Pitta, 2007

The 2020 edition will run from September 9th to 20th. As usual, the program displays in various venues throughout the city of Madrid, each of which will house a small section of the activities. This year the festival will count with the collaboration of the Casa Árabe, White Lab, Cruce, El Instante Fundación, ¡ésta es una PLAZA!, Extensión AVAM (Matadero Madrid), Institut Français de Madrid, Medialab Prado, Quinta del Sordo, Sala Alcalá 31, Sala El Águila, Secuencia de Inútiles and White Lab, in addition to the collaboration of the INELCOM Collection and the video art collection of Teresa Sapey.

The festival is also the ideal place to articulate the cultural fabric, since it involves numerous professionals in the sector, from curators to creators, from centres managers to critics and teachers. The 2020 program also has the collaboration of the FUSO Festival and the Museo Reina Sofía, which are providing some of their pieces for the exhibition.

In short, an appointment that lovers of contemporary art should not miss and that promises many novelties in this 13th edition.