Olav Westphalen breaks with the standards of art by setting up an insidious competition between high-minded autonomy and lowly pleasure, where highbrow art is undermined by vicious jokes and burlesque actions. But although there is a parodying element to his art, it never produces parody. Rather, his objects and performances shake up art's logic by over-fulfilling all the standards employed by critics and the public to gauge and exploit the work of art.
Westphalen had his first solo show in Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin in 1995. Since then, he has been exhibiting internationally in exhibitions and venues such asMonuments for America Wattis Gallery, Oakland, USA (2005); Global Players Bankart, Yakohama, Japan (2005); Milliken Art Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden, (2005); and the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art (2004). In 2006 he will have a solo exhibition in Michael Neff Gallery in Frankfurt (May); Galerie Georges-Philip and Natalie Vallois in Paris, France; and at Kunstverein Brandenburg, Potsdam, Germany.