Oil painting, 73 x 94 cm
Ghosts, big-eyed, equally a little spooky and funny, scurry through the night. They float through Dahlem's painting, keep eye contact with the viewer and thus establish a direct connection with him or her. Their filigree lightness contrasts with the clearly structured dark background of a nocturnal, fantastic city. They represent one side of Dahlem's oeuvre, in which he deals with supernatural apparitions (for example ghosts or witches). They follow Dahlem's artistic aspirations, as Waltraud Huth-Fox describes them in "Hans Dahlem - Retrospektive 1948 - 1993" (Blieskastel, 1993): "Hans Dahlem sees his artistic task in juxtaposing an artistic-spiritual or irrational world (in the sense of 'no longer comprehensible by mind') with the visible world, with reality. Dahlem opens up truths that outnumber those of real experience. The relativity of visible things becomes apparent and it becomes clear that the visible represents only an isolated area in relation to the overall cosmos.
Hans Dahlem (*1928 in Blieskastel, †2006 in Saarbrücken, both in Germany) was a painter, graphic and object artist and was also a friend of Arno Krause, the founding director of the Europäische Akademie Otzenhausen. He was one of the artists who significantly developed Saarland art in the post-war period. He showed his work twice at the Academy: in 1972 with a solo exhibition and in 1974 with a joint exhibition of the group "Fisematenten". Surrealism influenced his work, as did Cubism at times. Dahlem often chose contemporary prose and poetry as the leitmotif of his works, drawing particular inspiration from his close friend Ludwig Harig, a writer and literary translator from the Saarland. He was equally fascinated by mythical or even rational explanations of the origins of the world (cosmogony) of different peoples. This motif determined his work in almost infinite variations since 1963.