Jun 13th 2015

Albert Oehlen: Rawhide

@ Corbett vs. Dempsey

1120 N Ashland Ave., 3rd Floor, Chicago IL

Opening Saturday, June 13th, from 6PM - 8PM

On view through Saturday, July 11th

It is with pleasure that Corbett vs. Dempsey announces Albert Oehlen, Rawhide, an exhibition of recent canvases and works on paper. This is Oehlen’s third solo show with CvsD.

In 2007, Oehlen made his first paintings to incorporate billboard fragments, over which paint was smeared by finger, a nod to the bygone joys of subverting the signs and symbols of commercial capitalism. Five years later, in 2011, the artist began a series of pieces consisting of paper on canvas, in which similar billboard images are cut and collaged directly onto the canvas, forgoing paint altogether. This concise body of works, which was continued in 2013 (and will be finished later this year), led to further explorations of the potentialities of cut and interlocking billboard on canvas, an extensive group of which has used references to other paintings – Artschwager, Dalí, older works by Oehlen himself – as contour guides for the cutting and collaging. However the initial canvases utilized images taken from a guidebook to the cows of the Appenzell region, sort of a typology of Swiss beef. In eye-popping colors, sometimes featuring images that confuse, undercut, or amplify the cow silhouette, often with hilarious results, these works are unlike any other contemporary canvases, an invention that’s all Oehlen. CvsD will debut the cows in a herd of six canvases, together with a brand new batch of works on paper, which are also dedicated to the Appenzell cattle.

One of the foremost contemporary painters, Oehlen was recently awarded an honorary doctorate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he has served as a visiting professor. Among Oehlen’s many museum exhibitions, two are currently hanging: An Old Painting in Spirit, at the Kunsthalle, Zürich, and Home and Garden, at the New Museum, New York.

Rawhide is accompanied by a full-color catalog with an essay by Carroll Dunham.

In the East Wing, CvsD is proud to present Live at the Five Spot, an exhibition of newly discovered drawings by the artist Bob Thompson. In the years leading up to his untimely death in 1966, Thompson was a habitué of downtown New York’s underground jazz clubs, where he watched the great innovators of free jazz, including Ornette Coleman and Milford Graves, as well as the towering figures of post-bop and hard-bop, including Sonny Rollins and Art Blakey. Himself an amateur drummer, Thompson was one of the most admired young figurative painters of his era, and he was friendly with many of these musicians. His masterwork “The Garden of Music” (a 12-foot wide canvas in the collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum) depicts all of these players. Organized in collaboration with Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, who represents the Thompson Estate, this exhibition unveils sizzling linear portraits of Blakey, Rollins, Graves, trumpeter Enrico Rava, and Coleman, the latter drawn during the saxophonist’s legendary 1960 run at the Five Spot Café. A single painterly watercolor, more akin to Thompson’s canvases, is titled “Charlie Parker Waits in the Wings.”

Live at the Five Spot is accompanied by a full-color catalog featuring images of all the drawings.

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