Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Manipulating hysteria

Producing perceptual challenges.

Anne Wood 2019

This morning I ‘met’ Albert Oehlen.
To be honest, it was on the Internet.

Another artist asked if I knew his work
so I did a little Google research...

Below is one of his paintings 

Albert Oehlen 1996   (Taken from

Here is an extract from a statement 
and review of his work...

Qualities that I want to see brought together:

 delicacy and coarseness, color and vagueness,

 and, underlying them all, a base note of hysteria.

—Albert Oehlen

Oehlen is perhaps best known for his 

embrace of “bad” painting. 

Alongside his many rules, he allows a certain 

awkwardness or ugliness to enter his work, 

introducing unsettling gestures, crudely drawn figures, 

visceral smears of artificial pigments, 

bold hues, and flesh tones. 

In this way, he attests to the infinite combinations 

of form made possible through painting, 

and shows that these combinations can be 

manipulated at the artist’s will to produce 

novel perceptual challenges for the viewer.

(Taken from

Albert Oehlen 2004    (Taken from

I was becoming intrigued about Oehlen
and the qualities he wants to see in his work.

I took a few words from his statement...

‘...a base note of hysteria’  

( exciting)

Wondering about bringing some hysteria into
my own art I checked out the definitions.

~ exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement.

~ hysteria is a craze or a state of extreme emotional excitement or upset.

~ any outbreak of wild, uncontrolled

 excitement or feeling

Have I already been hysterical in my pictures?

Anne Wood 2018

There is a little trace of wild emotion in this
 oil painting although it is still fairly controlled.


I have often iDoodled over images of my paintings 
for fun and experimentation.  However, I have
never thought too much about the ’hysteria’ aspect.

Both these images are ‘iDoodles’ over photographs... 

The paintings are hanging in my studio. 
They look quite calm and unimpressed by my sudden 
outbreak of wild, uncontrolled excitement on my iPad.


Do I take these two canvases 
and add a ‘base note of hysteria’?

They could both be ruined by my hysterical approach.

Unless I take up the challenge I shall never know.

Taking risks in my art comes naturally.
It is only paint and canvas.
Not life threatening but very inspiring.

I will let you know what happens.

Until next time...
Thank you for visiting.

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