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Karl Fred Dahmen

Karl Fred Dahmen

*  1917 Stolberg bei Aachen
† 1981 Preinersdorf am Chiemsee

Karl Fred Dahmen attended from 1931 to the closing in 1933 the art school in Aachen. After an apprenticeship as a commercial artist, he became soldier at the air raid defences during world war II. and was in war captivity, where he drew and watercoloured. The end of war led him back to Stolberg. Dahmen applied to the academy of art in Düsseldorf, passed the entry-exam, but soon left the academy. The artist worked then as a freelance painter an became co-founder of the 'Neue Aachener Gruppe'.In the post-war period, it was very important to Dahmen - as well as to many of his fellow artists in Germany - to study the latest artistic trends in Paris. He wanted to establish a cultural exchange with the 'Ecole de Paris', so he organised with their representatives the first German-French exhibition 'Heute' at the museum of Aachen in 1953. In 1957 Dahmen joined the 'Deutscher Künstlerbund', in which he belonged to the group of 'Deutsche Tachisten' - their influences were visible in his early works. The artist's early work includes tachistic oriented pictures as well as wood collages. Dahmen received the first international art award in Lausanne in 1959. Since the mid 60s, Dahmen increasingly integrated different objects in his pictures. Material pictures and object cases were created, with which Dahmen aspired to the same principles as the 'Nouveaux Realistes'; reconnecting the work of art with life by using real objects. Dahmen became co-founder of the 'Nouvelle école européene' in Lausanne. Between 1960 and 1967 he spent some time on Ibiza, where he received the graphic-prize in 1972. In 1967, he was awarded a professorship at Munich Academy of Arts. This was the reason for his moving to the Chiemgau, where he spent his last years. As a painter and object artist Dahmen was one of the most important representatives of Informel and was therefore counted among the most important artists of the German postwar period.