Walter Dahn
Germany, 1954
Like many other artists of his generation, Walter Dahn studied at the Academy of Art in Düsseldorf, where from 1971 to 1977 he was decisively influenced by Joseph Beuys. From him he learned the importance of the tasks related to education in art and the deep political implications of artistic creation. His eclectic work is characterised by successive changes of style and formalisation; he has alternated painting, photography, film and music. After experimenting for some years, he began to paint, applying the experiments of Conceptual Art to the practice of painting. In the early eighties, in Cologne, he was a member of the Mühlheimer Freiheit group, who advocated an impulsive art, sometimes done collectively, in which the influence of punk culture could be detected. That was the period when he did the group portraits with Jiri Georg Dokoupil. Because of the neo-Expressionist style of his painting at the time, he was considered close to the German Neue Wilde. In the mid eighties, while not giving up painting altogether, he focused his attention on installations and performances with his own rock and roll band (#9 Dream) and producing record sleeves. In the nineties he took up painting again with renewed energy and produced works where we can find a host of references to the lyrics of popular songs. At the same time he presented architectural models, done with simple materials, which reconstruct humble houses in the South of the United States.
Ferran Barenblit