Emetzheim 1926 - 2002 Fellbach
Georg Karl Pfahler (1926-2002) is one of the most important German representatives of Geometric Abstraction. The painter, graphic artist and object artist, who began his studies in 1948 at the Art Academy in Nuremberg and later moved to the class of Willi Baumeister at the Stuttgart Art Academy, was initially close to Informal. However, as early as the late 1950s, he began to deal with strictly geometric compositions and related them to colour and space. Pfahler labelled these works "formative" from 1958 onwards. A limited colour palette of mainly blue, green, orange, red and black characterises these block-like formative works. While in these early geometric works, the personal gesture in the form of a recognisable brushstroke is still perceptible, this expression visibly disappears at the beginning of the 1960s in favour of sharply contoured and smooth colour surfaces and blocks in bright signal colours. With these works, which are close to "hard-edge" painting, Pfahler achieved an international breakthrough, and his works were shown in exhibitions such as 'Signale' (1965) in Basel, 'Formen der Farbe' (1967) in Amsterdam, Stuttgart and Bern and 'Painting and Sculpture from Europe' (1968) in New York. Consistently following his interest in the effect of colour in space, Pfahler began to translate his works into the three-dimensional with the “Farb-Raum-Objekte (Colour-Space-Objects)” (1965) and “Farbräume (Colour Spaces)” (1969), thus making the colour-space experience directly tangible. Together with Thomas Lenk, Heinz Mack, and Günter Uecker, he designed the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1970. Pfahler's works are part of the collections of the Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin, the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Museu de Arte Contemporáneo de Buenes Aires, among others. In 1999, Pfahler realised one of his last "colour-space-objects" with the design of the meeting room of the Council of Elders of the German Bundestag in the Berlin Reichstag.