But these are only distant references in the history of someone involved in the struggle for human rights and against established authority and in the defense of a free society, culture and nature.

We could point to two clear stages in Kappeler's artistic development that are closely linked to different periods of his life and to specific moments in the soci-
al and cultural history of our continent. The first began at the end of the 1950's when he went to Hannover University to study architecture, and culminated with his appointment as Professor of Painting and Graphic Art at the university's School of Architecture. This was a period of great crises in Europe, of the debate between capitalism and communism, of emmigrant wor kers in Germany, of May 68, of the discovery of the East, of the communes, etc. Kappeler's work, with an eminently figurative language and great quality in its drawing and application of colour, clearly expresses this.

From the 1970's onwards Kappeler has allowed the painting to flow by itself, has allowed denotation to give way to connotation, and the theme and painting form an alliance in which plastic quality predominates over
the subject matter. As Dieter Ronte pointed out, his themes have become more autobiographical and have taken on another dimension which is more expressive yet also more hermetic, in which colour and gesture have become the predominant features.

I believe there are different factors that have led to this maturing process: the social and political changes that have taken place in Europe throughout these years, the moving of his workshop to Butjadingen, next to the North Sea, and his complete devotion to art.
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