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C. O. Paeffgen




Acrylic on photo canvas.

Signed and dated on the reverse.

H 100 W 90


What would C. O. Paeffgen probably would have said about a year of pandemic?
Hugging, physical closeness and intimacy are something that many of us painfully miss.
As an iconographic counterpoint, Paeffgen’s picture from 1999 fits wonderfully as well as controversially into our current time, which is marked by a virus.

In the necessary avoidance of touching, it is precisely for this reason that the fervent desire for it arises: to greet one another with a gesture of intimacy and trust. In his painting, Paeffgen accentuates this with friendly directness and a bright, inviting colourfulness. As much as this kind of greeting is still taboo, on the other hand, it matches the irony of Paeffgen’s mischievously commenting oeuvre.

Paeffgen, who died in Cologne in 2019, was known among other things for his ironically pointed artistic representations and works: For over fifty years, the artist pursued social phenomena in this way. His wrappings, found objects that he joined together with wire, are juxtaposed with borders, traced contours of newspaper pictures projected onto canvas and reworked. Paeffgen always made precise selections. He marked, accentuated, took a clear position or sometimes hid them in formulaic form. In the process, he consistently developed his work, of which he once claimed that “anyone could do what I do,” and poured love or freedom into concise signs and scenes.



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