FRANKFURT.- When the Frankfurt artist Peter Roehr died in 1968 at the young age of 23, he left behind several hundreds of works in which he pursued exclusively the idea of serial repetition. From found commonplace materials he created ever new montages of photographs, text, typography, objects, sound, and film probing the concept of redundancy. Roehr abstained from both making a statement and sticking to an individual style. His formal repertory is deliberately reduced to the selection of an object, the definition of the number of its repetitions, and their arrangement. The element used is still recognizable, although it becomes absorbed in the series, so that the original form and color scheme are subjected to a potentiating effect. Last year, the Städelsche Museums-Verein was able to acquire the artists ten Schwarze Tafeln (Black Panels) for the museum, a central work in which the method of a non-narrative serial arrangement of identical objects culminates.
Now that four decades have lapsed, the commonplace nature of Roehrs works pushes to the fore even more vehemently. They become amazingly enhanced and turn into narrative formulations oscillating between ready-made and seriality, pop and minimal art, everyday life and abstraction. The exhibition Peter Roehr illustrates that Roehrs strict formalism is much more complex and eloquent than it seems to be at first glance.