Walter Dahn

Rheinisches Landesmuseum

The atmosphere was dignified: color and black-and-white photographs by Walter Dahn were hung in the light-filled exhibition hall of the Rheinisches Landesmuseum. Dahn rejected the idea of a retrospective of his paintings, asking instead for an opportunity to show the main thrust of his work, both preceding his intensive concentration on painting and later paralleling it: namely, his concern with the meaning of the inundation of images supplied by the mass media.

Some of Dahn’s artistic concerns, obscured by the spontaneity of his painting process, appear more clearly in the photographic work in reference to which Klaus Honnef, the organizer of the exhibition, has spoken of a didactic, political impulse. The roots of the work, in which reflections on the media become critical social commentary lie in the ’70s. They have been filtered by recent developments in painting in general and by Dahn’s

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