German painter, born in Krefeld. He studied under Sigmar Polke and was a close associate of Martin Kippenberger. All three shared a somewhat ironic stance and a reaction against the emphasis on painterly passion of the Neo-Expressionists. Unlike Kippenberger, Oehlen, after a period of multimedia work, has concentrated on painting and since 1988 has worked as an abstract painter. He has described his work as ‘post-non-representational’ but also has admitted that he is ‘not big on theory’. The paintings tend to be characterized by a strong sense of controlled chaos, with different kinds of spatial systems working against each other. Brandon Taylor has commented that ‘his works speak of irresolution on a grand scale’ and this is clearly not intended negatively but rather relates to the dilemmas of anyone trying to paint after Conceptual art.