Yves Oppenheim’s work shows a spirit of experimentation and innovation. His paintings employ a decidedly formal and abstract language, playing on repetition, variation and resumption. With his complex composition and conscious use of color, Yves Oppenheim on the one hand places himself within the traditional framework of painting, on the other hand, however, puts this very context into question through continuous dissolution and reconstruction of his compositions.
For his first solo exhibition at Gallery Xippas, Oppenheim presents an ensemble of recent large-scale paintings. What strike us in his oeuvre are the interwoven sensual curves and textures that oscillate between the opaque and the transparent. The vivid and luminous colours with their clearly demarked contours seem to be cut into pieces, contrasting with black curves evoking obliteration.
Superimposed forms, interlaced and transparent, depict the successive constructions and deconstructions that constitute the painting, thereby putting into question the making of the pictures. The gestures of invalidating, of re-covering the surface and of starting over are characteristic for Oppenheim’s work. They focus on the very act of painting and at the same time prohibit an immediate understanding of the work. For him, making us aware of the artistic activity itself is central. His work intentionally undermines any effort to quickly and simply understand what is depicted; on the contrary, by disquieting the viewer, he provokes a process of reflection and analysis.
Yves Oppenheim lives and works in Berlin and Paris. He has been represented in France by the Durant-Dessert gallery. Even though his work has not been shown in France during the last six years, it is exposed regularly all over Europe. In Germany, he is represented by the Max Hetzler gallery, and in Belgium by the Xavier Hufken gallery. He had a solo show in 2005 at Charim Gallery in Vienna (Austria). In France, The ARC and the Museum of Modern Art of Paris presented an individual show of his work in 1988, and so did the Musée des Beaux Arts in Nantes and the Centre d’ Art Contemporain du Domaine de Kerguèhennec in 1998, as well as the Musée des Beaux Arts in Gap in 2000.
His work is part of the prestigious collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou, at the Museum of Modern Art of Paris and at the Carré d’Art in Nîmes.