ARTISTS / Art after 1945
Karl Fred Dahmen

Composition
© Karl Fred Dahmen / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Karl Fred Dahmen

Komposition / Composition, 1959

Collage, gouache on paper handmade paper
36 × 49 cm

signed u. dated lower centre: Dahmen 59; on the reverse label Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landesmuseum Schloß Gottorf Schleswig inv. no. 1388/1507
(DAHMEK/CO 4)

€ 16.000
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Provenance: Klaus Gebhard Collection, Wuppertal/ Munich; Swiss Private Collection; Hessian Private Collection

Karl Fred Dahmen is one of the most important representatives of German Informel. The 1959 "Collage III," about one centimeter thick, oscillates between painting, material picture, and wall sculpture and exemplifies his "terrestrial" pictures, as he himself called them. The gestural here is controlled and yet of an energetic directness. Like an archaeologist, Dahmen uncovers various layers of the painting ground, which, however, is seemingly buried again by the matter. The paint covers the body of the painting as a skin or crust. Associations with solidified lava or boreholes in stone are just as possible as memories of urban and landscape structures - the artist himself spoke of "cityscapes" in this context. The earth, injured and battered by lignite mining in the environs of his hometown of Stolberg near Aachen, becomes foreboding as Dahmen's background. The color seems to literally "evaporate" here and show itself in a last, pale light.
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