• 2009
  • Albert Oehlen
  • Triptych
  • 280 x 810 cm

A monumental triptych, Rock (2009) can be interpreted as an allegory of music, to which the painter often pays homage. The three panels of the work are connected by a painted shape with sinuous contours, at times with irregular spots of color and collages of graphic elements. Arranged like the notes of a musical score, the letters forming the phrase “Help I’m a rock” stand out against the white background of the canvas and produce a floating effect in the composition. With this inscription, Oehlen multiplies the references to music: the eponymous song of Frank Zappa’s band The Mothers of Invention, as well as the titles “Help” by the Beatles and “I am a Rock” by Simon & Garfunkel. On the right panel is the face of a woman with closed eyes, a possible nod to the famous work of the symbolist painter Odilon Redon. 

© Adagp, Paris, 2020 © Primae / David Bordes


Albert Oehlen

Albert Oehlen graduated from the Academy of Hamburg, where he studied under Sigmar Polke. He explores the pictorial medium through an artistic process in which he unceasingly reinvents the rules for each new series. 

He explores the medium—from figurative to abstract—using a variety of tools and innovative techniques to reinvent forms of painting and push their limits, making each painting a unique universe.

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