Paeffgen completed his law studies in Cologne and Berlin in 1959. Ten years later, in 1970, he began to paint. At the same time, the artist began to assemble found objects with wire – a technique that he continues to pursue to the present day. These ‘wrappings’, which he often successively further worked on, are juxtaposed with his ‘borders’. They denote the traced contours of newspaper images projected onto canvas and reworked. In the eighties Paeffgen achieved a high degree of popularity with these works.
However, Paeffgen’s first exhibitions took place as early as the 1970s, for example at the Kunsthalle Köln in 1970 and at the Kunstverein Hamburg in 1979. This is accompanied by a remarkable series of solo exhibitions, which has not lost any continuity since the seventies. In 1977 Paeffgen’s work was shown at the Galerie t’Venster in Rotterdam, in 1979 the Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf, and the Karl Ernst Osthaus Museum in Hagen dedicated an exhibition to Paeffgen, in 1981 he was represented at the Bonner Kunstverein, in 1986 at Artinzing in Munich, in 1992 at the Galerie Rudolf Zwirner, Cologne, and in 1993 at the Kestner-Gesellschaft in Hanover. Also the Museum Ludwig, the most renowned museum for contemporary art in Paeffgen’s hometown Cologne, shows his works in spring 1999.