As of 1914, Oelze attended the School of Decorative Arts in Magdeburg, where he was trained as a lithographer until 1918. He learned nude drawing in evening classes. Among his teachers there were Richard Winckel and Kurt Tuch, as of 1918. From 1919 until 1921, he completed his studies at the same school as a Stipendiat (a person receiving a scholarship). Between 1921 and 1925, he was a student at the Bauhaus, at first in Weimar with Johannes Itten, and then in Dessau, where he received a special teaching post at the Bauhaus. From 1926 until 1929, he lived in Dresden, participating in an exhibition of the "Dredner Secession" there, and lived from 1929 through 1930 in Ascona in Switzerland, and then in Berlin until 1932.
Oelze participated in documenta II in 1959 and in documenta III in 1964 in Kassel. In 1965, he became a member of the Academy of Arts, Berlin.
Oelze was regarded as one of the most important painters of surrealism. His works are typified by a secretive representation of landscape and figural compositions, with rendition of details in the manner of the old masters.
Oelze had an important influence on the later French surrealist, Christian d'Orgeix.Wikipedia