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Albert Oehlen

Rodschenko II

  • Year1982
  • MaterialAcrylic on canvas
  • Dimensions130 x 240 cm
  • Year of acquisition2017
  • Inventory numberUAB 1064
  • 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

Albert Oehlen Hey Mercy, 1983UAB 852
Albert Oehlen Hey Mercy, 1983
Charline von Heyl Ohne Titel (2/93 II), 1993
Charline von Heyl Ohne Titel (2/93 II), 1993
Jacqueline Humphries Clockwork LemonUAB 1123
Jacqueline Humphries Clockwork Lemon, 2005
Keith Haring Untitled (Subway Drawing), 1981
Jörg Immendorff Teine Tunst mache, 1965UAB 1216
Jörg Immendorff Teine Tunst mache, 1965
Damien HirstE.M.I. 1989UAB 184
Damien Hirst E.M.I., 1989