Fred Jahn will turn 80 on September 30, 2024.
Throughout his long life, he has been working in galleries, as a graphic publisher, and art dealer since 1964. He has published important books and catalogues. Sixty out of eighty years dealing with artists, editions, exhibitions, collectors, museums, dealers, and the public.
Despite this diversity, he embodied constancy and unwavering loyalty to his profession. When times changed, Fred Jahn found new tasks without losing his compass. It was always directed towards the authenticity of the artist, the quality of each work, and the right place for both in the expanding network of the art system.
But his compass was supported by something else: uncompromising accuracy and undiminished dedication to every large or small task, to every customer, to every business. This created trust and an atmosphere that conveyed the sense of being welcome in the modest spaces above Munich's magnificent Maximilianstrasse. The art dealer as a humanitarian! Fred Jahn had the fortune to be in the midst of crucial moments in recent art history. This meant taking risks as a prerequisite: the challenging Baselitz of the early years alongside Palermo's abstract experiments; Gerhard Richter's objectified gesture alongside the sophisticated, seemingly simple works of Sigmar Polke, or the frivolous William N. Copley alongside the unrestrained virtuosity of Karin Kneffel. Also, the ghostly figures of Rudi Tröger.
From here, the horizon expanded into the encyclopedic: Africa, Japan, classical modernism, goldsmithing, Baroque painting, and so on.
Text by Siegfried Gohr