After the first years of his studies at the Nuremberg ‘Akademie der Bildenden Künste’ in 1948/49, Pfahler transferred to the Stuttgart art academy, which he attended until 1954. Although Pfahler had mainly worked in ceramics during his studies, as a freelance artist, he focused increasingly on painting. After his early ‘Metropolitan’ pictures, Pfahler developed pictorial configurations around 1956, in which he experimented with the spatial effects of color in a manner reminiscent of a pointillist technique. This phase gave way to works which, from 1956, were based on Action Painting and Art informel. The term “formativ” (formative), which he added to the titles of his pictures from 1958 on, marked his emancipation as a painter from the more formless style influenced by Willi Baumeister. An intention to clarify new ways of seeing and fresh viewpoints lead to ink drawings, followed by collages.