“FASI LUNARI (Phases of the Moon)” at The Carriero Foundation, Milan
The Fondazione Carriero is pleased to present a new exhibition produced and organized by the Fondazione for Casa Parravicini.
The exhibition “FASI LUNARI” gathers together the works of the artist Albert Oehlen (Krefeld, 1954) and six young artists, of his former students: Peppi Bottrop, Andreas Breunig, Max Frintrop, Fabian Ginsberg, Yuji Nagai, and David Ostrowski. It is curated by Francesco Stocchi with Albert Oehlen himself.
By presenting 23 works, this exhibition intends to explore the distinguishing features of this German artist’s influence, overlapping it with the works of his former students.
The show is an overview devoted to painting, unfolding almost like the story of an intense creative exchange born at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, where the artist taught from 2000 to 2009. Oehlen has followed his students over the years, even beyond his role as their professor. He has continued to support them in their growth as artists and has befriended them even after their art academy days.
The exhibition is a review of the current state of painting in all its variants, and it is developed in a sequence within parameters of quality that are fundamental for pictorial expression. The title “FASI LUNARI” (Phases of the Moon) narrates the constant unfolding of the exhibition, with the shades of meaning emerging from a comparison between the works, thanks also to the installation and a critical interpretation of the venue.
The exhibition sequence begins and ends with works by Oehlen and runs over two floors of the Foundation. Each floor includes a work by the German artist, alongside others by his pupils. This reflects his belonging to the group, and underlines the exhibition’s collective nature.
For the first time, the artist and his students come together to give life to a creative comparison in a non- hierarchical exhibition that treats the work of Oehlen and the young artists on equal footing, thereby rendering the creative energy typical of an exchange like this, but without any paternal connotation.
“FASI LUNARI” stages a kind of fairy tale, the outcome and surpassing of the follower-master, student-teacher relationship. The itinerary guides visitors along a two-fold exploration: on the one hand, there is the work of one of Germany’s most acclaimed contemporary artists who challenges his own characteristic style, while on the other hand, there are the works of his students who, as a whole, give life to an exchange between the outcome of their studies and the art of their teacher.
A desire to undermine all expectations has always inspired Oehlen to change his work by constantly investigating painting and its expressive potentials. His previous certainties, which he views as dangerous pitfalls, are—for Oehlen—to be eliminated. His incessantly evolving works question the sense of contemporary painting while striving to go beyond all limits.
His research as an artist has been consistently accompanied by the willingness to challenge himself through a series of self-imposed rules—limits on structure and color or a deliberate slow-down in his work pace—aimed at stimulating his talent while guiding him towards unexpected creative solutions.
“It was quite interesting working with the artist on the traces of an experience rather than a body of work,” states Francesco Stocchi, who has curated three exhibitions for the Fondazione Carriero, “it represents a unique way of working with young talents without creating an exhibition on emerging artists. Works by Oehlen and his former students are pieces that refute the production of meaning, and by virtue of this denial, they stimulate our human necessity to label everything.”
Olimpia Piccolomini, the Director of the Fondazione, adds: “After two exhibitions devoted to legendary and rediscovered figures, we’ve decided to put the spotlight on young talents, through the perspective of a grand master like Oehlen. By coherently following the course begun with ‘imaginarii” (September 2015) and ‘FONTANA • LEONCILLO. Forma della materia’ (April 2016) this new exhibition revolves around research and experimentation as well. It is a comprehensive and dynamic itinerary, and by comparing different styles it offers viewers innovative interpretations by unfolding in ‘crescendo’ across the rooms of the Fondazione.”
at The Carriero Foundation, Milan
until 4 February 2017