Albert Oehlen (b.1954), a student of Sigmar Polke and close friend of Martin Kippenberger, is known to be a provocateur for challenging the boundaries of painting and embracing a remarkably wide range of styles.
The publication Grau is an intimate examination of his series of grey paintings created between 1997 and 2008. Oscillating between figuration and abstraction, the paintings defy conventional categorisation. Amid muddy nebulas and amorphic brushstrokes, mysterious depictions of figures, objects, environments, and landscapes emerge. In opposition to other series where Oehlen also used digital tools, the grisailles are strictly made by hand without the distraction of colour —an unmistakable nod to fellow German artist Gerhard Richter.
The richly illustrated publication also contains an original text by writer and poet Raphael Rubinstein and an interview with artist Albert Oehlen himself.
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