Skarstedt is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings by Georg Baselitz, Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen. German Paintings is comprised of three solo presentations keenly focused on a series from each artist’s oeuvre: Remix by Georg Baselitz, Fred the Frog by Martin Kippenberger, and Albert Oehlen’s Grey Paintings. While each artist clearly conveys their own diverse objectives, these three bodies of work, ranging from 1989 to 2010, demonstrate a firm commitment to the practice of painting and illustrate the medium’s extensive formal and conceptual potential. German Paintings will be on view at Skarstedt’s Upper East Side gallery (20 East 79th Street) from September 8 – October 29, 2016.
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Throughout his career, Georg Baselitz has emphasized the physicality of paint and form, particularly through the inversion of his subject matter. Baselitz engaged in a dialogue with the works of his past in his Remix paintings, working from photographs of his earlier paintings. Familiar imagery, such as the eagle and orange eater, are recontextualized in these bold, expressively colored compositions, broadening the artist’s exploration of new technical approaches to painting as well as his own personal narrative.
Kippenberger’s Fred the Frog series, first exhibited at Galerie Max Hetzler in 1991, advances his witty commentary on the role of the artist, dissolving the disparities between high and low art. Rife with variations on the crucifixion motif, Kippenberger also incorporates frogs, beer mugs, and eggs into the compositions, making no distinction between the sacred and profane. In Ohne Titel (Aus der Serie 'Fred the Frog') (1989-1990), the crucifix within the letter “G” is no more notable than the nearby splattered fried egg.
Instead of settling in one celebrated style, Albert Oehlen prefers to push the boundaries of painting, constantly experimenting, to contribute to the dialogue of art history: “All I can tell you is that if I have to decide whether to make a beautiful painting or a new painting, I will choose new every time. That’s what the job of painting is for me. I want to make something that has not been there before.” While he is aware of his influences, such as Gerhard Richter, in his Grey Paintings, Oehlen transcends beyond precedents in these gestural works. He explores the spectrum of grey further, provoking a heightened craving for color.