Trees are deeply rooted in the German psyche. German poets, composers and painters have long explored the forest as a place of longing, authenticity and dependability. For the past thirty years, German painter Albert Oehlen has been probing into the myths and symbolism of trees as it relates to the formal, historical and thematical aspects of painting. At Gagosian, Oehlen’s confines his Baumbilder (Tree Paintings) to mostly red and black (both colors are part of the German flag – symbols of blood and earth.) Bright, solid, blocks of red, overlaid with black recalcitrant surrealist “branches” on pristinely white Dibond, create tension and opposition via ebullience and self-containment. Like the rest of his exceptional oeuvre, Oehlen’s Baumbilder prove his technical prowess, color awareness and compositional dexterity and firmly cement his place among Kippenberger, Richter, Polke, Immendorrf, and Baselitz as one of the great German Post-War artists. At Gagosian through April 15.