Erwin Pfrang

Work

Text

(...) Erwin Pfrang’s images have come a long way. At first encounter they can be unsettling, causing puzzelment or shock, and the artist’s recent development may mean that they produce these reactions even in those who thought they knew his work. Yet if one is open, if one lets oneself be guided by the paintings, then one will recognize certain constant features along a path that Pfrang has followed consistently and that now reveals itself as a process of maturing.

Pfrang’s paintings of the early 1980s outwardly very different from his later work, already show the artitst feeling his way, hesitantly and with a muted palette, toward and around certain basic themes that have since come to dominate his oeuvre. These images focus on an associative approach to subjects central to the religious and mythological experience and interpretation of the world – subjects such as creation, birth, and death – some motifs being treated directly and indirectly in ever new variations. The fairytale atmosphere of some of these early paintings is by no means carefree, and a threatening undertone can be perceived amog the guilelessness of childlike games and dreams. Increasingly, however, the images tell of an insistently experienced present, which threatens at first to engulf the last remaining elements of figurative self-assertion in cascades and whirlpools of paint and eventually to overwhelm the individual in the form of oppressively dense metaphorical projections. With particular sensitivity the artist reacts with concern and distress to the guilt and need in which all human existence is entangled and he confronts the absurdities of modern civilization with irony and a touch of sarcasm.

These basic attitudes also have informed Pfrang’s subsequent work, including his latest paintings: seeds initially barely perceptile as such have borne fruit. Increased mastery of artistic techniques has been accompanied by greater sobriety and by a broader view, a more liberal approach to emotions, heightened clarity, and a more decisive manner. Outward signs of Pfrang’s growth in confidence are the lightening and intensification of his palette and the desire to conquer large formats.

In spite of the length of the road it has traveled, notwithstanding the multifarious forms of expression it envinces, Pfrang’s painting pursues a single aim, presistently and from ever new angles: to investigate human self-examination and self-experience, an investigation that he himself undertakes as an exemplum, offering the results to the viewer. These images resemble static scenes on a world stage, scenes that focus not on the unfolding of a plot, but on the description and appraisal of a situation. States and circumstances are presented, but not interpreted, commented on, or dressed in didactic garb. It is up to the viewer to draw his or her conclusions. (...)

Text by Peter Eikemeier, Extract from: Forms of Dawning Conciousness, in: Erwin Pfrang. Bilder, Verlag Fred Jahn, Munich 1999

Vita

1951

Erwin Pfrang is born in Munich

(lives an works in Berlin)

1974—1979

Studies at the Akademie der Bildende Künste in Munich

1982

State sponsorship prize of Freistaat Bayern

1987—1990

Lives and works in Montepulciano in Tuscany, Italy

1989

Art scholarship of the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste, Munich

1990—1996

Lives and works in different places in Italy (Tuscany and Liguria)

1996—2000

Lives and works in SOLET, an abandoned travertine factory in Val d’Orcia, Tuscany

2000—2003

Returns to Germany (Munich and Augsburg)

2003

Returns to Italy, lives and works in Catania, Sicily

2011

Returns to Germany (Berlin)

Selected Solo Shows

2019

ERWIN PFRANG. GEDACHT DURCH MEINE AUGEN – Buchheim Museum, Bernried

2016

Axel Pairon Gallery, Knokke, Belgium

2015

Erwin Pfrang. Sonderausstellung in der Residenz – Galerie Fred Jahn / Residenz, Munich

Erwin Pfrang. Neue Arbeiten – Galerie Jahn Baaderstrasse, Munich

2013

Erwin Pfrang. Illustrationen zu James Joyce “Dubliner” (Deutsche Ausgabe, Reclam 1994) – Kunst am CAS / LMU (Center for Advanced Studies, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Munich (cat.)

2012

Erwin Pfrang. Neue Bilder – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

2010

Erwin Pfrang. Bilder – Galerie MZ, Augsburg

2009

Erwin Pfrang – Die Tankstelle, Berlin (Juerg Judin, Berlin, in cooperation with Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich)

Zeichnungen zu “James Joyce: Dubliner”, Reclam Verlag, Leipzig 1994, und andere Arbeiten aus der Sammlung Walter Bareiss – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

2008

Erwin Pfrang. Gegenwelten – Kunstparterre München, Munich (cat.)

Erwin Pfrang. Zeichnungen – Wolfram Völcker Fine Art, Berlin

2007

Erwin Pfrang. Hades – Staatliche Graphische Sammlung in der Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (cat.)

Erwin Pfrang. Großformatige Tuschbilder 2005–2007 – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich, and Norwood Fine Arts, Munich

Opere – Università degli Studi di Catania, Centro Voltaire, Catania, Italy

2006

Paintings – Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles

2005—2006

Hades and Other Drawings – Nolan / Eckman Gallery, New York

2005

Neue Bilder – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

2004

Bilder, Zeichnungen und Graphik – Völcker & Freunde Galerie, Berlin

Circe Drawings – Bank of Ireland Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland

2002

Paintings and Drawings – Nolan / Eckman Gallery, New York

Paintings and Drawings – The Norwood Gallery, Brussels

2001

Bilder und Zeichnungen – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

2000

Paintings and Drawings – The Norwood Gallery, Austin, Texas

1999

IO & LUI – Nolan / Eckman Gallery, New York (cat.)

Bilder – Staatsgalerie moderner Kunst, Munich (cat.)

1998

Arbeiten auf Papier & Odysseus und kein Ende – Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München, Munich (with two catalogs in the slipcase)

1997—1998

Paintings and Drawings – Daniel Weinberg Contemporary Art, San Francisco

1997

6 Personali – Castelluccio di Pienza-La Foce, Italy

1995

Dubliner Drawings and Related Works – Nolan / Eckman Gallery, New York

1994

Bilder 1990–1994 – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

1991

Circe Drawings – David Nolan Gallery, New York (cat.)

Aquarelle – Galerie Jahn & Fusban, Munich

1986

Bilder – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

1984

Zeichnungen, Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich (cat.)

Selected Group Shows

2020

Your Mask (Part III: Don’t Forget Your Mask) – Jahn und Jahn, Munich

2018

40+10+1 – Jahn und Jahn, Munich

2011

Bildnis und Figur. Oskar Coester / Frank Günzel / Walter Klose / Erwin Pfrang / Rudi Tröger / Katharina von Werz – Karl & Faber, Munich, in cooperation with Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

2008

Deutsche Zeichnungen und Originalgrafik der Gegenwart – Wolfram Völcker Fine Art, Berlin

2007

Karl Bohrmann / Heinz Butz / Erwin Pfrang / Friedrich G. Scheuer / Rudi Tröger / Katharina von Werz. Bilder, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen – Karl & Faber, Munich, in cooperation with Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

2005

Extraordinary Visions. Hans Bellmer, Anne Chu, Amy Cutler, Amy Finkbeiner, Valerie Favre, George Grosz, Karl Hubbuch, Yun-Fei Ji, Jim Nutt, Erwin Pfrang, Rudolf Schlichter, Peter Stauss – Nolan / Eckman Gallery, New York

2004

Joyce in Art – Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin

2002

Drawn from a Family – Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine

2001

Dreams 1900–2000 – Passage de Retz, Paris

Unterwegs – Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste, Munich

  1. Nationale der Zeichnung – Zeughaus, Augsburg

2000

Dreams 1900–2000 – The Equitable Gallery, New York; Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien, Vienna; Binghamton University Art Museum, Binghamton, NY

1994

  1. Nationale der Zeichnung Augsburg – Zeughaus, Augsburg

1993

Positionen – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich, and Michael Hasenclever Galerie, Munich

1992—1993

Drawn in the ’90s – Museum of Art, Katonah, NY; Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Alberta; College of Art, Calgary; Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, Alabama

1990—1991

Erwerbungen 1982–1989. Ankäufe und Geschenke. Eine Auswahl – Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich

1990

Künstler der Galerie – Galerie Jahn & Fusban, Munich

1989

Künstler ’89 im Palais Preysing – Palais Preysing, Munich

1988—1989

Alberto Giacometti. Prints & Erwin Pfrang, Frank Günzel, Rudi Tröger. Drawings – David Nolan Gallery, New York

1988

Rückblick / Ausblick – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

Gemeinschaftsausstellung mit Annette Lucks, Norbert Eberle und Frank Günzel – Galerie Buchmann, Basel, and Galerie Heike Curtze, Düsseldorf

Zeichenkunst der Gegenwart. Sammlung Prinz Franz von Bayern – Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich

1987

Norbert Eberle, Frank Günzel, Annette Lucks, Erwin Pfrang. Arbeiten auf Papier – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

Stilleben – Galerie Biedermann, Munich

1986

Köpfe – Galerie Biedermann, Munich

1985

Gemeinschaftsausstellung mit Frank Günzel – Knöbelstraße, Munich

1983

Gemeinschaftsausstellung mit Annette Lucks und Norbert Eberle – Knöbelstraße, Munich

1982

Neuerwerbungen. Ankäufe / Geschenke / Dauerleihgaben – Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich