Georg Karl Pfahler
acrylic on canvas
108 x 100 cm (42 1/2 x 39 3/8 in.)
verso signed and titled
Born in 1926, Georg Karl Pfahler 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" beginning in 1958. A limited colour palette of mainly blue, green, orange, red, and black characterizes these block-like formative works. While in these early geometric works, the personal gesture in the form of a recognizable 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' in Basel in 1965, 'Formen der Farbe' in Amsterdam, Stuttgart and Bern in 1967 and 'Painting and Sculpture from Europe' in New York in 1968. 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-Objekten” (Colour-Space-Objects) (1965) and “Farbräumen” (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 realized 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.