André Butzer - Galerie Max Hetzler

Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to present new paintings by André Butzer in it's Zimmerstraße gallery.

The exhibition "Chips and Pepsi and Medicine" shows nine paintings each displaying a single figure as well as a large group painting and several drawings.

The central motif of Butzer's paintings is the interest in the human figure. Grotesque, comic-like characters are part of his understanding of the human being. Full of relish he transforms them with the help of form and colour into overreaching expressions.

Influenced by the paintings of the artist's group "Cobra" around Asger Jorn as well as by the tradition of German expressionism, André Butzer developed a style of intense colours that is also able to unveil human abysses.

Almost every painting on display shows an ambivalent character: in the work titled Frau/Woman a figure with black saucer eyes smiles like a mask and stretches out a seemingly mutilated arm. More pleasant is perhaps the work, Kartoffel/Potato, in which a running vegetable flees from a saucepan under a bright blue sky. Not at it's best is the figure in the painting NASA-Scharlach/NASA Scarlet Fever, crooked by heavy coughing, inflamed eyes and red spots on the body, it is stigmatized as a universal bearer of disease coming from outer space. The group painting Chips and Pepsi and Medicine has a completely different setting: a number of characters assemble for a cheerful tryst and relish consumption.

André Butzer's figures always stay in a strange abeyance: at first glance grotesque heads, waving hands and clumsy feet can be taken as signs of unconcern but then the harmed and deformed creatures cause a feeling similar to compassion. The question is: what kind of life do these beings have? Are they human beings or mythical creatures and to what extend should we take their mental expressions seriously? The reference to comic may give us a hint for the answer. André Butzer believes in the influence of Walt Disney's figures on our image of human beings, nativity as well as artificiality are parts of this. The world of Mickey Mouse knows no moral, real pain nor real joy.

This is the first solo exhibition of André Butzer at the Galerie Max Hetzler. Born in Stuttgart in 1973, he lives and works in Berlin. In 1996, after a short stay at the Merz-Akademie Stuttgart and the Hochschule der Künste, Hamburg, he founded the Akademie Isotrop, together with other artists. The initiators managed the school independently and autonomously until 2000 and represented it in a number of national and international exhibitions. Since 1999, Butzer has had solo exhibitions in Vienna, Berlin, Stuttgart and Munich.

To accompany this exhibition a catalogue which includes an essay by Thomas Groetz has been published. For further information please contact the gallery under 030 229 24 37. Opening hours Tue-Sat 11am – 6pm.