André Butzer, Günther Förg, Grace Weaver et al.
dark things we tell each other (group show)
Miettinen Collection, Berlin
10 June – 31 July 2022
Works by André Butzer, Grace Weaver and Günther Förg are included in the group exhibition dark things we tell each other, opening at the Miettinen Collection on Friday, 10 June 2022. Curated by Christian Malycha, this exhibition features selected works from the Miettinen Collection.
‘What do we tell ourselves? What do we tell each other? How do we speak at all? And what about? Memories and encounters? About impressions, feelings and emotions? Last week’s shoe shopping spree? Time unwilling to pass, yet never enough? Levantine cuisine, tan lines, fleeing and displacement? Mindful astrology apps, espresso martini, Spotify discoveries, incapacitation, balcony furniture? About pain, doubt and loss? Confidence and longing, joy?
In soliloquy, direct address and veiled dialogue, Paul Celan’s »dark things we tell each other« and Ingeborg Bachmann’s »I, alone by myself, am a dark story« make it seem possible that works of art bring an absolutely subjective experience of the world into a palpable and communicable form—perhaps void or obscure, mysterious or near unspeakable, but no less valid and an example of how to endure life’s abstrusity in this flawed world.
(Although, the distance on a sofa, from which you look at and talk past each other, at times is vaster than the tacit expanse between city and country side in the same night, in the same faded colors of 3AM.)
Bachmann’s and Celan’s story thus gave the impetus to ask how images enable such encounters. How individual experience »speaks« through images »into the open, where language can also lead to encounters.« What we tell ourselves, tell a ›you‹ or say together with them, hopes for resonance. In a trembling voice, self-assured or with borrowed words, every expression is a sort of relating-oneself-to-someone. Always unfamiliar, disconcerting, new. Sensuous and immediate: Who are you? Who am I? Wherefrom? Whereto? What’s one’s own, the other’s, the mutual?
In such encounters, one’s own world is given a hold and grounding for a few brief moments—be it understanding, recognition, bewilderment. All of a sudden, disparate and opposing times, places, bodies, inside and outside unite in a transient state of potentiality. Entangled and present. Until they separate again or almost inexplicably continue their shared tale.’
– Christian Malycha
Grace Weaver et al.
How (Not) to Fit In – Metaphors of Adolescence (group show)
Villa Merkel, Esslingen
8 May – 17 July 2022
Works by Grace Weaver are included in the group exhibition How (Not) to Fit In – Metaphors of Adolescence, which will be on view at the Villa Merkel in Esslingen from 8 May until 17 July 2022.
Adolescence is commonly located in youth, but our complex present means that its typical dynamics – negotiations between the individual and society, between self-perception and perception of others, or between emancipation and integration – now last a lifetime. The rapid confrontation with different roles and the light-footed adaptation to constantly changing expectations no longer characterise only "apprenticeship and wandering years", but have become normative requirements that affect us all again and again. Nevertheless, all social groups are by no means equally free to determine their life paths. Media clichés and structural discrimination ensure that many people live and struggle with imposed role attributions and glass ceilings, or are exposed to stereotypical expectations.
This exhibition brings together artistic contributions that open up intersectional perspectives on adolescence, as well as on adolescence as a metaphor, for social dynamics. In addition, common media narratives are questioned and experiences of discrimination and their overcoming are addressed. In the exhibition, the artistic examination of liberation from restrictive life plans, overcoming predefined paths and rejecting stereotypical role models does not lead to an egocentric self-reflection. Rather, it focuses on social structures and the personal confrontation with them. Through the diversity of artistic references, experiences can be experienced that also lie beyond traditional narratives, creating a multi-faceted, critical and differentiated panorama of growing up, puberty and adolescence.
André Butzer et al.
#woodcut. From 1400 to the present
3 June – 11 September 2022
Work by André Butzer is included in the group exhibition Woodcut, which will be on view at the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin from 3 June until 18 September 2022.
This exhibition is the first in a new series at the Kupferstichkabinett that will showcase artistic printmaking techniques. Each exhibition will look at a different technique and explore its features, possibilities and limitations. Works from the Kupferstichkabinett’s extensive collection will be the exclusive focus here, and will include prints on paper and vellum, as well as unique printing blocks from different eras. This exhibition takes a historical look at the development of printing as a technique in Europe, beginning with its multifaceted inception in the 15th century, continuing on to 16th-century experiments with colour, to large-format works created during the Baroque period, and stretching all the way to the revival of the technique in the early 20th century. Contemporary pieces that oscillate between the status of one-off artworks and the reproducibility of the medium illustrate the enduring importance of the woodcut as an art form. Well-known masterpieces will be on display, alongside new discoveries and rarities.
Friedrichs Foundation, Weidingen (solo show)
7 May – 28 August 2022
For his exhibition at the Friedrichs Foundation, André Butzer placed four large paintings as well as eight watercolors from 2010 to 2021 in a thoughtfully related constellation. Along two mutually intertwined arcs, the gradual coming-into-their-own of his images becomes tangible, in which even the “figures were always abstract, already at the very beginning. They symbolized the path from an initially unknown end point to the actual beginning”. The simple togetherness of these four works gives a glimpse of the breadth and wholesomeness André Butzer’s painterly horizon of experience encompasses since 1994: A “future image of man, body, flesh and of potato chips”.
André Butzer et al.
Follow George Grosz. Gemälde, Zeichnungen und Druckgrafik (group show)
Kunstsammlung Jena, Jena
9 April – 26 June 2022
Works by André Butzer are included in the group exhibition Follow George Grosz. Gemälde, Zeichnungen und Druckgrafik, which will be on view at the Kunstsammlung Jena from 9 April until 26 June 2022.
André Butzer et al.
Unendliche Geschichten. Aus der Sammlung Oehmen (group show)
Museum Ratingen, Ratingen
11 March – 31 July 2022
André Butzer’s painting from 2004 is included in the group exhibition Unendliche Geschichten, on view at the Museum Ratingen until 31 July 2022. This exhibition presents works by 13 artists from the Oehmen collection.
André Butzer (publication)
Edited by Hans Werner Holzwarth
Published by TASCHEN
Made in close collaboration with the artist, this unprecedented huge-format survey presents the future and origins of his painting according to André Butzer. From his early works of “Science Fiction Expressionism” that centered around a cast of figures at home both in space and in culturally occupied Europe, to his exploration of abstraction’s far limits in the seemingly black N-Paintings, Butzer emerges as an ever-inventive colorist who finds a new beginning in each work.
This is the first book first to span the full range of André Butzer’s oeuvre from 1999 to 2021, the works’ progression gaining an almost musical drive of development, return, and new beginnings. The plates are interspersed with contemporary quotes from the artist that illuminate his idiosyncratic stance as a background to the work, as well as photos from his archives. The introductory essay, written by Hans Werner Holzwarth, investigates the different work phases, and places the artist’s ideas in a wider discourse of abstraction and figuration after the end of either genre. And, most importantly, the book’s pristine, huge-format illustrations fully evidence the finesse as a colorist that place this artist among the internationally most recognized painters of his generation.
“Expressionism was about going back to nature and nakedness, about inner more than outer space. Now we can give this field a new task—to be informed by seriality, post-industrialism, and modern mankind’s artificiality. So I include organic and non-organic parts, fake nature and fake human. Titian said painting is about flesh and water, and I say it is about flesh and lemonade.”
— André Butzer
Get your copy here.
André Butzer x TASCHEN
André Butzer has created limited Art Editions exclusively for TASCHEN, including three screen-print sets, individually painted pendant lights, and overpainted book covers. The Art Editions were presented for the first time during Art Cologne 2021 and are now available on the TASCHEN website.
The motif featured on the screen-prints presents Butzer’s unique pictorial characters: the “Wanderer”, the “Frauenbildnisse” (Portrait of Woman) and the “Friedens-Siemens” (Peace Siemens), who have embodied the fundamental themes of the artist’s work since 1999. Each print is an edition of 75, all of which are numbered and signed by Butzer. The three screen-print sets together make-up the complete series: Untited 1–3, 2021, Untitled 4–6, 2021, and Untitled 7–9, 2021.
In the exclusive Art Edition of individually painted pendant lights, Butzer projects both his abstract line and friendly face motifs onto a light orb, transforming one half of the globe into a glowing canvas (which also appears like the moon’s near side, as seen from Earth). The abstract spots and lines form a playful composition of vibrant hues, while the faces light up the room, reminding us of Renaissance depictions of the planets with human countenances. The lamps come in an exclusive Art Edition of 100. Each lamp is a unique object, individually painted and signed by the artist.
There are only 25 copies of the Art Edition of Butzer’s overpainted covers. Using the book’s yellow linen as his canvas, Butzer depicts a combination of two faces out of his cast of three characters that have come to define his pictorial universe: the “Wanderer”, the “Frauenbildnisse” and the “Friedens-Siemens”. With the artist’s signature prominently placed on the spine, this edition of the book is an extension of the work it presents: encased in a special blue clamshell box, it is an art object in its own right.
“I try to repeat all my images as often as possible and as well as possible to make them less severe. So, I do mass culture. At the same time, seriality is something I always wanted to destroy. That’s why I make so many seemingly serial works which are in fact not serial at all. This was the case with the figures, which were typologies that seemingly unfolded serially. Signs of life. They perhaps address the large soul space of human localization. Each figure is an individual and each image is individual.”
– André Butzer
Press Releases, Letters, Conversations, Texts, Poems, Volume 3: 1999–2021 (publication)
All good things come in threes and so do André Butzer’s collected writings. The third volume is elegantly sharp and poignant. Editor Alexander Linn continues to explore the unique fictitious universe, Butzer calls »NASAHEIM«. Boldly touching on the latter’s own work and biography, art history as well as music in numerous letters, in-depth conversations and poems. Guided by the simple question: What is real?, Butzer searches for »the actual location of painting, the space in-between. It’s a very esoteric but easy to understand conception of truth.«
Get your copy here.
Press Releases, Letters, Conversations, Texts, Poems 1994 – 2020, Volume 2 (publication)
The second volume of André Butzer's collected writings has recently been published by Alexander Linn / Edition Linn. As an extension of the first volume, which focuses on the artist's writings from 1999 until 2017, this publication gathers an abundant selection of press releases, letters, conversations, texts and poems from 1994 until 2020, offering an intimate and personal insight into Butzer's painterly formation and practice.
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ANDRÉ BUTZER x CELINE Collaboration
For the collaboration with Celine, André Butzer’s character “Wanderer”, (2001) has been taken from the artist’s sketchbooks, lithographs and linoleum prints. Although the figure is in black and white, it is about colour and the potential for colour. This character from Butzer’s universe has been adapted onto various products across the range including embroidered black cotton thread onto raffia baskets, printed in black and white onto grained leather and featured as an artwork patch onto t-shirts and high-top sneakers.
Selected Press Releases, Letters, Interviews, Texts, Poems 1999–2017 (publication)
This divertingly profound or profoundly diverting volume gathers an abundant selection of press releases, letters, interviews and conversations, prose, and poetry by painter André Butzer. Brought together for the first time, Butzer’s writings form a concise account of his artistic thinking.
Get your copy here.