Dahmen's early work phase after the end of World War II and his joining the German Artists' Association, is dedicated to Tachism. Later, too, the influence of the originally French Informel is important to him. He strives for a cultural exchange with the Ecole de Paris and orients himself on the artistic currents there. From the mid-1960s, Dahmen began to integrate different materials into his works, striving to relate art back to life through real things. Along with Emil Schumacher and Gerhard Hoehme, Dahmen is considered one of the earliest and most important artists of German Informel.
1917   born in Stolberg (Rheinland)
1932 - 1933   Attends the Aachen Art School until its closure
1936 - 1938   Apprenticeship as a commercial graphic artist
1939 - 1945   military service and imprisonment
1945   Briefly at Düsseldorf Art Academy, working as a freelance artist
1946   first solo exhibition, Aachen
1950   travels to Ascona, Tessin
since 1951   Numerous trips to Paris
1954 - 1959   Drawing teacher at a private school in Aachen
1954   first solo exhibition in Paris
1956   Works with relief surfaces are created
1958   Gold Medal of the First International Art Award of Switzerland for Abstract Art
1959   Participation in documenta II, Kassel
  first longer trip to Spain
1961 - 1967   regular stays in Ibiza with second studio
1963   first solo exhibition in New York
1964   Teaching position at Kunstschule Bremen in the field of surface design
1967   Appointment as professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich
since   first object boxes are created
1973   International Graphic Prize, Ibiza
1974   Travels the USA and Mexico
1976   Begins to compile a catalog raisonné, print section appears in 1979
1981   dies in Preinersdorf at lake Chiemsee