Bound together by threads of time, Herold and Oehlen’s respective practices came out of a divided post-war Germany, whilst Salle’s work captures the colourful consumerist landscape of the booming 1980s in New York City. The year 1986 situates itself within a chronology of fragmented headlines. Political instability and social crises clash with the neon glow of the post-disco era. Alongside each other, the artists’ works attest to the multiplicity of discourses informing the art world that year. Attacking both the artistic and political status quo of 1980s West Germany, Herold maps out the dangers of territorial nationalism through the unconventional use of wood rather than paint. For Oehlen, this was a particularly experimental period. Exploring multiple themes and techniques, the artist engaged in self-portraiture, while simultaneously testing the boundaries between figuration and abstraction in a move towards his later ‘post non-representational’ painting. Meanwhile in the US, Salle incorporated new media into his artworks. Juxtaposing references to art history with advertising and translating cinema, photography, and performance into painting, he bent the medium’s limitations in his work.