until 22.10. | #3623ARTatBerlin | Galerie Max Hetzler shows from 16 September 2022 at Goethestraße 2/3 the exhibition by the artist Werner Bütter.
Werner Büttner became known from the end of the 1970s with a painterly attitude that was cultivated at that time under the keyword ‘Bad Painting’. Important stylistic devices in his work are irony and sarcasm. Originally conceived as a rejection of conventional notions of grandeur, elegance, refinement and taste associated with ‘high’ art, Büttner’s paintings are, however, also always a commentary on society and on the condition humaine.
In addition to the pictorial compositional element, Werner Büttner’s paintings are characterised by an equally sharp understanding of language. Funny, absurd, self-ironic and “full of ruthlessness against himself (…) Werner Büttner’s art oscillates between image and word; painting that is just as committed to language as to the iconic image. In both cases, language as well as image, the ambivalent but also the unspeakable, in the end even the unpaintable, dominates. “1 Thereby “…tragedy and futility are two keys to Büttner’s paintings”. (Prof. Dr. Alexander Klar)
Werner Büttner, Selbst mit Vögelchen, 1986, oil on canvas, in artist’s frame, 244.5 x 194 x 4.7 cm.; 96 1/4 x 76 3/8 x 1 7/8 in.
The works in the current exhibition, dating from 1981-1988, show a reflection of traditional genres and themes of art such as landscape or still life, often populated with strange pictorial objects and operating with anecdotal pictorial metaphor. Among the paintings, for example, are various depictions of animals: Whether Dead Rabbit (1981) or Sad Tropics – Surveying a Killed Crocodile (1984), the fate of these parallel creatures appears as frequently in the works as the examination of the individual in the world. Both Selbst mit gefangenen Geänsen (Self with Captive Geese, 1983) and Selbst mit Vögelchen (Self with Little Birds, 1986) stand here for the supposed self-portraits that are concerned with the role of the artist and his social influence. Werner Büttner, however, does not stage himself in heroic, unassailable poses, but as someone whose grotesque gesture of empowerment consists, among other things, of wringing the necks of geese. In keeping with a deliberate negation, Büttner’s works are captivating in their calculated shabbiness: the picture surfaces remain matte, the colouring is usually limited to grey and earthy brown tones, the recognisable pictorial motifs are executed in a spontaneous and clunky brushstroke. With this strategic anti-attitude, Büttner pursues the defiant return of an artistic medium that was considered obsolete and outdated in the 1970s of Conceptual and Minimal Art, as well as the expanded concept of art: the panel painting. In terms of content, the materiality of Werner Büttner’s pictures reflects a thematic examination of the repressed and neglected in the everyday world of life.
Werner Büttner (*1954, Jena, Germany) lives and works in Geesthacht. In Hamburg, he was appointed professor of painting at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in 1989, from which he retired in autumn 2021. Büttner’s work has been shown in numerous solo exhibitions, including Zentrum für Kunst and Medien, Karlsruhe (2013); the Kunsthalle Dominikanerkirche, Osnabrück (2006); Kunstverein Bremerhaven (2005); FRAC Poitou-Charentes, Angoulême (2004); L’Espace Sainte Croix, Loudun (2004); Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (2003); Städtische Museen Romantikerhaus, Jena (1997); Kunstverein Hamburg (1995); Kunstmuseum, Reutlingen (1989); Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1988); and Kunstverein München in the Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, and subsequently in the Museum Folkwang, Essen (1987).
Works by Büttner are in the collections of the Cincinnati Art Museum; Fonds national d’Art Contemporain, Paris; FRAC Poitou-Charentes, Angoulême; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg; Kunstmuseum Walter im Glaspalast, Augsburg; Ludwig Collection, Aachen; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna; Museum für Kommunikation, Frankfurt; Falckenberg Collection, Hamburg; Städel Museum Collection, Frankfurt am Main; Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe; Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe; Ulster Museum, Belfast; and Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge. v.m.
Vernissage: Friday, 16 June 2022 – 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Exhibition dates: Friday, 16 September – Thursday, 22 October 2022to the gallery
Exhibition Werner Bütter – Galerie Max Hetzler | Contemporary Art – Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin – Exhibitions Berlin Galerien – ART at Berlin