Karl Fred Dahmen (born in 1917, Stolberg; died in 1981, Preinersdorf) was a German painter and draftsman, as well as a creator of prints and objects. He represented the 'Informel' and 'Tachisme' art movements. He completed his education at the School of Applied Arts, Aachen and an apprenticeship in advertising art. In 1945, he undertook a short course of study at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. In 1950, he participated in an exhibition with the group "Junger Westen." Beginning in 1951, he spent regular periods of time in Paris.
He created abstract-expressive paintings of tectonic structures. From 1956 onward, he produced dark-toned, informal paintings and collages with relief work. These pieces evoke a natural landscape damaged by strip mining. After 1960, Dahmen lived more extensively in Ibiza. He began to create his 'Objectkasten' with found objects and his so-called 'Polsterbilder' in 1965. From 1967 to 1981, he held a professorship at the Academy of Art in Munich and resided in Preinersdorf from 1978 onward.
The latest addition to VAN HAM Art Estate is the estate of the German artist Karl Fred Dahmen. Originally from Stolberg, this draftsman, graphic artist, and object artist participated in Documenta 2 and is widely considered one of the most important representatives of Tachisme and art Informel.
We understand our role as enhancing the public presence of the artist through his or her estate. As a result of VAN HAM Art Estate initiative, a traveling exhibition of Dahmen's works will take place on the occasion of the artist's upcoming 100th birthday. The exhibition will include several works provided by the estate. Such active support ensures the recognition due to this important artis.
Along with Dahmen's artistic works, we also maintain the artist's own comprehensive and complete archive. We have Dahmen to thank for the archive's breadth; he collected and saved numerous contracts, documents, and photographs. Notable photographers such as Robert Häusser also documented his creative work.
Dahmen's works regularly appear on the art and auction markets. His piece "Große Zeichenwand / Helle Komposition" achieved an impressive result of 42,500 euros at VAN HAM's spring contemporary art sale.
For the first time, and with a total of 1,637 works on 1,192 pages, the catalogue raisonné presents the complete works by this significant postwar artist. Alongside the 'informal' works of the 1950s and 60s, one also finds the artist's object cases and material pictures of the 1960s and 70s, as well as his later 'Furchenbilder'. The book includes all the information expected of a catalogue raisonné: a work's title, dimensions, date, medium, current provenance, bibliography, exhibition history, and as necessary, additional commentary.
The author spent several years assembling all information relevant to Dahmen's works. Not only does the two-volume catalogue fill a hole in publishing industry (all German-language publications about the artist are included); it also provides readers with new insights into the versatility of this extraordinary artist.
All artworks bearing the label "Artist Estate" in the catalogue raisonné are in the possession of VAN HAM Art Estate and managed by Ina Dahmen (Estate Management K.F. Dahmen).
Sponsored by the Stiftung Kunstfonds with additional support from VG Bild-Kunst and the Kunststiftung NRW.
Dimensions: 24 x 31 cm
2 volumes in linen slipcases
Author: Thomas Weber
Concept: Johannes Schilling
and Thomas Weber
Introduction by: Dr. Tayfun Belgin
(Kunsthalle Krems, Austria)
Price: € 200.00 (plus shipping costs)