Corbett vs. Dempsey is very pleased to present its second exhibition of work by Albert Oehlen. One of the great contemporary artists, Oehlen has been dubbed by Peter Schjeldahl “the most resourceful abstract painter alive.” He is known for his adventurous, inventive, and sometimes wickedly funny paintings, which often feature elements of collage mixed with linear free painting, sometimes applied directly with his fingers. A master of semiotic prestidigitation, Oehlen’s work challenges notions of elegance and balance, meanwhile asking irreverent questions about the concept of beauty and the durability of taste. Since turning to abstraction in the late 1980s, Oehlen has developed a highly personal body of work that connects with the grand tradition of abstract expressionism, dovetailing especially with Willem de Kooning, but adding a thoroughly contemporary sensibility and subversive sense of humor. In Painthing on the Möve, Oehlen will present a group of small drawing collages and two large paintings, all part of his “Conduction” series, which takes its name from the structured improvisations of musician and composer Lawrence “Butch” Morris. Utilizing a graphic black and white palette, the works in this show continue in the spirit of Oehlen’s earlier “computer paintings,” which used pixelated motifs derived from computer drawing tools. The dazzling linear paintings in the “Conduction” series replace those jagged computer lines with graphics borrowed from Oehlen’s small drawing collages, blown up to a larger scale and painted and drawn into with spray paint and charcoal.
A 108-page hardbound catalog for Painthing on the Möve includes images from the sister exhibition at @Thomas Dane Gallery, London, Chicago Imagists 1966-1973, that Corbett and Dempsey curated together with Oehlen, also at Dane. The catalog is available for purchase at Corbett vs. Dempsey and on the website.
Albert Oehlen and John Corbett will also be deejaying at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia Ave.) on Wednesday, October 26, starting at 9pm, as part of an evening of live music by a quartet featuring Hamid Drake (drums), Dave Rempis (saxophones), Mars Williams (reeds), and Harrison Bankhead (bass). Admission is $10.