Markus Oehlen

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Markus Oehlen
Born1956 (age 62–63)
EducationKunstakademie Düsseldorf
Known forPainting, Sculpting, Music

Markus Oehlen (born 1956 in Krefeld) is a German artist.


Oehlen studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (Alfonso Hüppi).[citation needed] His is formative participant of the German art movement Neue Wilde, which was especially active in Germany during the 1980s, and used a punk style that stood in opposition to minimalism. The aim was to attack the high-browed nature of minimalism with a style of painting that is based on instinct and gesturally emphasizes the wild, spontaneous, obsessive and sensual. Oehlen has continuously developed his work and, in parallel with painting, also works on sculptures and musical projects. His new works are increasingly inspired by the perceptual experiments of Op Art, with printed image interferences that occur in grid-like patterns above and below the layers of the picture. Along with forms that are oriented toward computer aesthetics, this brings an aspect of serialism to the images. It can be understood as a humorous and ironic commentary on the expressive nature of painting and – in retrospect – on the Neuen Wilden movement itself. Markus Oehlen's complex, layered pictures are composed of a plethora of found images, shapes and distorted painterly elements which, taken out of their previous context, take on a new function and meaning. By rearranging the individual compositional elements of the canvasses in the context of art, Oehlen creates surreal still lifes that were not originally so intended, playing with the notion of randomness and suggesting strange narratives. The pictures on large canvasses convince through their radical approach to painting.[citation needed]

In 1977 he meet Martin Kippenberger. He took part at the group exhibition Von hier aus – Zwei Monate neue deutsche Kunst in Düsseldorf in 1984. He exhibited 1993 at The Museum of Modern Art, New York: „Projects 39“ – with Georg Herold.

Oehlen was founding member of the bands Mittagspause, Fehlfarben, Flying Klassenfeind, Vielleichtors, and Van Oehlen.[citation needed] He played with Red Krayola. Since 2002, he is a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich.[citation needed]

He is the brother of artist, Albert Oehlen.


Markus Oehlen is among others represented by Gerhardsen Gerner, Berlin / Oslo; Galerie Bärbel Grässlin, Frankfurt/Main; Galerie Hans Mayer, Duesseldorf; Galería Juana de Aizpuru, Madrid.









  1. ^ Markus Oehlen - Biography,

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