Karen Mackinnon. Photo: Polly Thomas.

Karl Pfefferle (1946–2019)

Karl Pfefferle, a longtime gallery owner and an active member of the Munich art community, died on January 23. His passing after a long illness was announced by his family. Evelyn Vogel writes in Süeddeutsche Zeitung that Pfefferle is remembered for his conviction that to survive within the art market as a small or midsize gallery, one must follow one’s beliefs.

“The Munich art world has lost an important gallerist with Karl Pfefferle,” dealer Barbara Gross said. “He was an exceptionally committed facilitator, loyal to his artists, and innovative and international in his gallery program.”

Born in 1946 and trained as a gilder, Pfefferle took over his family’s fourth-generation business, a framing and restoration workshop, in 1967. In 1981, he established the publishing company Edition Pfefferle in Grünwald, Germany, which was eventually taken over by his son, and in 1983, Pfefferle founded Galerie Karl Pfefferle.

In its first decade, the contemporary arts space focused on painting and sculpture, and featured work by artists of the new figurative painting movement. In the 1990s, the gallery added conceptual painters to its roster, and in recent years, it began to shift to photography. The gallery was the first in Munich to exhibit the work of American photographer William Eggleston and has since staged shows presenting the photographic work of artists such as Arnulf Rainer and Larry Clark.

The artists currently represented by the gallery include Clark, Jiri Georg Dokupil, Rainer Fetting, Carsten Fock, Hell Gette, David Lynch, Mitríková & Demjanovič, Tony Scherman, Peter Schuyff, Paul Schwer, Leif Trenkler, and Ekrem Yalcindag.

Bernhard Schwenk, head of collections for contemporary art at Munich’s Pinakothek der Moderne, said: “I find it remarkable that he has included so many young artists in the program and also worked with young curators. He always trusted the young generation and kept his program fresh.”