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Walter Dahn

Galerie Six Friedrich

Walter Dahn asks in his paintings about the how and why of what he is doing, about the sustained kick that the painting is supposed to induce both in the painter and his audience. Dahn asks and answers as a painter, not as an illustrator of a concept of art. The large paintings shown here consist mainly of dark, simple images—either trademarks of English jewelers (which he also uses for the logo of his rock band) or “trademarks” of other artists. Painted on bright white or ivory backgrounds, these images completely dominate the pictures. In The Jewelers III and IV, both 1986, the emblems, which are blown up to gigantic proportions and thus are not immediately recognizable as goldsmith’s marks, project a magical aura because of their formal characteristics and forceful presence, rather than from any profound content as signs. It is the riveting quality of the painterly and iconographic

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