until 13.07. | #2447ARTatBerlin | Galerie Judin currently shows the first solo exhibition of the artist Michael Buthe with the gallery entitled Die Tagebücher und Buchobjekte 1963-1994 (> The diaries and book objects 1963-1994).
Michael Buthe (1944-1994), whose 75th birthday and 25th anniversary of death are this year, is undoubtedly one of the most dazzling artistic personalities of German post-war art. With his eccentric appearance, his spectacular exhibitions, his commuting between Cologne and Marrakech, his professorship at the Düsseldorf Art Academy and his close friendships to Sigmar Polke, Jürgen Klauke and Blinky Palermo, he is an integral part of German art history. The fact that his life-affirming and color-intensive work is rooted in a conceptual understanding of art and is not exhausted in a carefree, aestheticized reception of the “Orient” is demonstrated by none of his groups of works as forcefully and touchingly as his so-called “diaries”. These artist’s books, which Buthe designed with the means of drawing, painting, collage and assemblage – but hardly with writing and text – not only provide a comprehensive insight into the artist’s entire oeuvre, but also reflect his entire life: his formative youth and study years in Kassel, his open studio in Cologne with its large group of artist friends, his second residence in Marrakech, and finally his extensive world travels. Thus the diaries and book objects document an equation of art and life that, although proclaimed by many contemporaries, has hardly been implemented as consistently by anyone as by Buthe.
Because Buthes diaries record his entire artistic and biographical development almost seismographically, the artist sold or gave away only a few of these works: most of them remained in his possession until his early death and can now – thanks to the generous support of Michael Buthe Estates, Cologne – be exhibited almost in their entirety for the first time.
In 1969, Michael Buthe celebrated his international exhibition debut with early conceptual works in Harald Szeemann’s legendary exhibition When Attitudes Become Form at the Kunsthalle Bern. Since then, Buthe’s works have been included in almost every important overview exhibition of contemporary German art – he alone was represented in four documenta exhibitions (1972, 1977, 1982, and 1992). Numerous solo exhibitions have also taken place, including at the Nationalgalerie Berlin, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humblebaek, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, and the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst in Ghent. During his lifetime his works found their way into many important museum collections in Germany and Europe. The early death of the artist, however, temporarily pushed his work into the background, as the most important curator – Buthe himself – was now missing. But since the large-scale retrospective at the Kunstmuseum Luzern, S.M.A.K. in Gent and Haus der Kunst in Munich (2015/16), Buthe has once again become omnipresent. For example, the Tate Modern 2016 acquired an early conceptual work for its collection, which has since been presented in the permanent exhibition.
The catalogue of Michael Buthe’s works will be published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König from summer 2019. The opening volume will document all of the artist’s diaries and book objects. A limited edition facsimile of the central diary The Incident with the Basket (1989-91) will also be published for the opening.
Vernissage: Friday, 26 April 2018, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Ausstellungsdaten: Saturday, 27 April – Saturday, 13 July 2019
Image caption: The Spoils of Ward Thirty-five 2018 / Courtesy the artist and Galerie Judin, Berlin
Exhibition Michael Buthe – Galerie Judin | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin