Vertikale Figur II. 1960. Mixed media with oil and sand on canvas. Weber 030.60. Signed and dated lower left. Verso signed, dated, titled and inscribed as well as with arrow indicating the direction. Additionally signed and dated as well as inscribed '13 [in circle]' on stretcher. 90 x 75 cm (35.4 x 29.5 in). In original artist's frame. [JS].
PROVENANCE: Private collection Baden-Württemberg.
In Dahmen's material pictures from the early 1960s, which are generally assigned to the "terrestisc" period (Latin "terra" = earth), the artist applied the paint and sand mixture onto the heavy canvas and worked it over in graffiti style. The destruction of nature near his home, forcing up the earth for the purpose of brown-coal mining and the resulting moon crater landscapes decisively influenced Dahmen's works in those years and supplied the natural source of inspiration for the abstract play of colors and composition of the pastose layers: "Having applied several layers, he treats the mass with brush or spatula before the paint gets too dry. For this purpose the picture lies on the ground. Working with the matter brings deeper layers to the surface and vice versa. [..] The results of this method are the earth pictures, often found in museums and collections, which came into existence through digging, carving and covering up. The artist usually confronts the observer with dark and gloomy works that are literally compacted. Their haptic dimension is a great pleasure for the eye of the observer." (Dahmen, in: Weber, pp. 33/34).