1986: Georg Herold, Albert Oehlen, David Salle




Galerie Max Hetzler, London, presents an exhibition dedicated to the year 1986 featuring important works by Georg Herold, Albert Oehlen and David Salle. Bound together by threads of time, Herold and Oehlen’s respective practices came out of a divided post-war Germany, whilst Salle’s work captures the colourful consumerist landscape of the booming 1980s in New York City.

That which you face right now, could already be found in 1986! The dream of dismantling the establishment! (Jesus was robbed of his garments). And, by the way, the vision of a socialist Afghanistan as well as some underwear, then, some sculpture. Indeed! First driving Saporoshez all along the cyber pass up to the exchange for any Pajero. Plus rubble enough. Thin lines are tracing every point in diagrams and bench marks. The loss of anything and the replacement of anything by anything doesn’t matter. At all! Now we have the salad! Not me! You! Too! Everybody is an artist (as well). And a cook too. And we have beef and we have eaters. Now you know how the rabbit runs! If you expect to find the meaning of everything, the meaning of life in the future, you should follow the route of Voyager II …

– Georg Herold

The year 1986 situates itself within a chronology of fragmented headlines. Political instability and social crises clash with the neon glow of the post-disco era. Alongside each other, the artists’ works attest to the multiplicity of discourses informing the art world that year. Attacking both the artistic and political status quo of 1980s West Germany, Herold maps out the dangers of territorial nationalism through the unconventional use of wood rather than paint. For Oehlen, this was a particularly experimental period. Exploring multiple themes and techniques, the artist engaged in self-portraiture, while simultaneously testing the boundaries between figuration and abstraction in a move towards his later ‘post non-representational’ painting. Meanwhile in the US, Salle incorporated new media into his artworks. Juxtaposing references to art history with advertising and translating cinema, photography, and performance into painting, he bent the medium’s limitations in his work.

At this remove, the year 1986 holds little specific resonance; I was sort of careening through the “80s project”. However one wishes to define it. However, when I looked back at the works, I made that year, I was struck by the high level of invention and an overall formal boldness. We had taken painting apart in the first years of the decade, and now were mid-way through the process of putting it back together.

– David Salle

Duration 27 September 2022 - 05 November 2022
Times Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm

Cost Free
Venue Galerie Max Hetzler
Address 41 Dover Street, London, W1S 4NS
Contact 442076297733 / london@maxhetzler.com / https://www.maxhetzler.com

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