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Albert Oehlen

Rodchenko I

  • Year1982
  • MaterialAcrylic on canvas
  • Dimensions130 x 240 cm
  • Year of acquisition2017
  • Inventory numberUAB 1063
  • On viewGround floor -1.7

More about the artwork

Albert Oehlen’s early works systematically connect
conflicting traditions from the history of painting. He
is interested in the key moments of criticism. Here, for
instance, he revisits Alexander Rodchenko, a Russian
Constructivist, who had proposed in the 1920s that art
should, above all, serve society—a clear rejection of
the self-referentiality of painting.
Oehlen’s paintings are based on a photograph of
Rodchenko’s wife, Varvara Stepanova, with students
from Moscow’s Vkhutemas art school, and a picture
of Rodchenko’s spatial constructions. But these artists
and artworks of the avant-garde do not seem heroic
here. The wooden sculptures look like dusty objects
found in an attic, and the individuals in the upper
painting come across as somewhat clumsy. Oehlen
is not so much attempting to distance himself from
these earlier artists’ ideas but rather tracing, in a
nostalgic manner, the revolutionary spirit of the time:
By the 1980s, artistic utopias had receded into the
distance. Finally, they would end up in the bourgeois
medium of painting themselves.

Further collection artworks

Louise Lawler *1947No Drones (adjusted to fit)UAB 915Crazy, 2011VerrücktUAB 916
Louise Lawler No Drones (adjusted to fit), 2010/2011
Cy Twombly Untitled, 2003UAB 484
Cy Twombly Untitled, 2003
David LaChapelle Recollections in America, I: 3rd Generation, 2006UAB 634 I 1
David LaChapelle Recollections in America, I: 3rd Generation, 2006
Andy Warhol Self-Portrait, 1964UAB 506
Andy Warhol Self-Portait, 1964
Cy TwomblyUntitled (New York City), 1968UAB 448
Cy Twombly Untitled (New York City), 1968
Albert Oehlen Ohne Titel, 1983UAB 850
Albert Oehlen Ohne Titel, 1983