Posts Tagged ‘Pop Art’

Blackpaint 117

April 22, 2010

Albert Oehlen and Fiona Rae

I’m going to start a new occasional series (that is, I’ll do one now and another when I remember – maybe never), in which I link two artists and then decide that, whereas I thought they were similar, they’re really nothing like each other.  It  requires you the reader to Google them on Images and reach your own decision.

Albert Oehlen is German, born in 1954, and he does large canvases, layering in a range of techniques, sometimes using airbrush, for instance, then doing a layer of thrown-on paint, then brushwork, and so on.  The style, I suppose, strongly resembles Abstract Expressionism, which is why I am drawn to him – but he also includes figurative elements in his work.  Sometimes, bits of  it reminds me of early 60s Pop Art. 

The Saatchi Gallery website ( contains the following memorable (and baffling) quote:  “Albert Oehlen’s paintings are neither beautiful nor seductive.  Their self-consciously brutal surfaces seem to be corrupted from within, a perversion of the paintings they might have been.”

This makes them sound like Bacon or Dumas (not a bad thing, of course); “brutal”,” corrupted”,” a perversion”…  To my eyes, they are both beautiful and seductive.

Ochre Eater, by Blackpaint

Fiona Rae is younger, British born 1963 in Hong Kong, and was a YBA.  Her Wikipedia entry identifies her work as abstract expressionist or similar; her canvases are large, colourful, employing, like Oehlen, a range of techniques.  Yes, I think they are alike – Rae’s motifs appear more flowery and/or organic perhaps, colours maybe more vibrant..?  Not sure, have a look – it will be well worth it.


Ochre Eater 2, by Blackpaint