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Friedrich Teepe, 1980-10, 1980, cotton, foam, 87 × 87 × 9".

Friedrich Teepe

Arratia Beer

Friedrich Teepe, 1980-10, 1980, cotton, foam, 87 × 87 × 9".

There was a lot of ancestor worship at Gallery Weekend Berlin this year. Showing the likes of Gordon Matta-Clark (at Galerie Thomas Schulte), Philip Guston (Aurel Scheibler), or Lynn Chadwick (Blain | Southern), it seems, not only promises economic success but assures something like conceptual solidity, while at the same time offering the appeal of DIY materiality and an art-historical frame of reference. The late Friedrich Teepe (1929–2012), with his monochrome canvases and soft sculptures—he called them padded objects—was another of these elders, but something of an exception to the rule. Not that his work doesn’t sit perfectly well with an aesthetic of the 1960s and ’70s, somewhere between Group Zero and Gotthard Graubner–style cushioned painting. But in contrast to some of the big names on view, he was a bit of a discovery, new to the scene in Berlin.

The fact that

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