Charles Pfahl
American, 1946-2013
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Painter Charles Pfahl depicted fraught and vexed allegories of recent history, influenced by Christian symbolism, Native American mythology, and consumerism. Working in a classical vein throughout his career, he painted across genres, among them portraiture, still-lifes, moral allegories, and dream narratives. “For many years, it has been my desire to paint images that evoke strong emotional feelings—no matter how disturbing they may be,” Charles Pfahl once said. While the images in his works often include broken toys and decrepitude, as well as delicately textured fabric, carpets, porcelains, and feathers, Pfahl said that his subjects were always color and light. He studied with Jack Richard, Robert Brackman, and John Koch, and cited Caravaggio as a significant influence on his practice.

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