Albert Oehlen /Jonathan Meese Beine, 2003
oil, inject on wood image measurments: 208 x 280 cm Courtesy: Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin / © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015 Photo: Jochen Littkemann

About the work

Johanna Adorján in conversation with Albert Oehlen and Jonathan Meese, 2005:

Adorján: To be really pragmatic: how do two artists work together? Empty canvas. Someone starts. How? What has been agreed on talked about in advance?

Oehlen: This pretty much works in the same way it does right now.

Meese: Yes, you just start to roll the ball...

Oehlen: And sort of keep looking at it from the side.

Meese: And sometimes it comes back.

Adorján: Someone says: Collage! And then he waits, how the other one reacts.

Oehlen: At beginning we didn't know what we were going to do. The idea that a collaboration might be good, came from the material that Meese uses. There was a connection there.


Museum Abteiberg (Publisher), Rheingold III, 2005, p. 75

About the artist

Albert Oehlen
born 1954 in Krefeld
lives and works in Cologne, La Palma (Spain) and Switzerland

Albert Ohlen studied at Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg 1977 bis 1981 in the classes of Claus Böhmler and Sigmar Polke. Together with his friend, the artist Werner Büttner he stablished the "Liga zur Bekämpfung des widersprüchlichen Verhaltens" ("League against contradictory behaviour") and belonged to the group of "Young Wild Ones". The aim: to rid painting of any meaning. Images were meant to refer to nothing but themselves.
Nevertheless, from the mid-1980s Oehlen enters the art market by taking part in the exhibition "Von hier aus".Towards the late 1980s his rough, emotional images change. The compositon becomes more simple, without spatial composition, vanishing points and middle- During the 1990s he even goes on to create images on the computer in order to eliminate any personal style or emotion. 

Jonathan Meese
born 1970 in Tokyo
lives and works in Ahrensburg and Berlin

Born in Tokyo, Jonathan Meese returned to Germany during the mid- 1970s together with his mother and siblings. After graduating from highschool he went to study business at university but quickly abandoned his studies in order to focus on art. After taking first drawing classes, Jonathan Meese studied at Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg between 1995 and 1998 where he did not graduate. Instead, his friend, the artist Daniel Richter, recommended him to Galerie Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin that began to represent him shortly after. Solo exhibitions followed. At Berlin Biennale the young artist first became known to a wider audience. From 1999 Jonathan took part in many national and international group and solo exhibitions. In 2004 Meese, who had worked a lot with installation and performances turned towards theatre. He worked as a set designer and as a director. Meese is known as an eccentric self-promoter who usually is the centre of his art works and performances. His provocative works often refer to nationalsocialist symbols as well as German mythologies, philosophy and literature.