“I expect my paintings to be strong and surprising,” the German artist Albert Oehlen has said. Indeed, he likes disruption. Oehlen’s practice could be described as an aggressive dialogue with the history of modern painting, for he often brings another artist’s imagery into his own canvas. In the first part of this exhibition, Oehlen, in response to the dark serenity of Rothko’s Color Field paintings in the Rothko Chapel, offers up paintings of decidedly un-serene color. In the second part, Oehlen uses spray paint, acyclic, charcoal, and patterned fabric to rethink the images of the painter John Graham, a Russian-born American modernist who died in 1961. —E.C.
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