C. O. Paeffgen

Galerie Denise René-Hans Mayer

The West German artist C. O. Paeffgen has challenged the intellectual and esthetic sensibilities of both the viewing public and the purveyors of art with a dense complex of works that resolutely blocks easy access and assimilation. Superficially, he has done this by constantly changing media and styles, asking us to acknowledge the unsettling unpredictability of the terrain of art.

For years, Paeffgen has characterized each of his installations in terms not of formal tools but of intellectual decisions. This applies to his latest thematic exhibition, “Neun bis null” (Nine to zero), a title borrowed, undoubtedly, from the jargon of the nuclear-countdown age. The individual works and the exhibition as a whole were dominated by a smoothness uncharacteristic of Paeffgen's earlier work. Each painting in the series displays a number from nine to zero; all share the same format and a constellation

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