André Butzer, Albert Oehlen et al.
Nacktheit der Zeichnung: Arbeiten in Schwarz auf Weiss von Beckmann Bis Warhol
Gesellschaft für Gegenwartskunst Augsburg
30 September – 4 December 2022
This exhibition presents some 90 works on paper produced on a mostly intimate scale, with a variety of techniques, encompassing pencil, ink, gouache, and collage. Ranging from figuration to abstraction and spanning over 100 years, the diverse works included in this exhibition are nevertheless united by a deep engagement with form, surface, and line.
Gesellschaft für Gegenwartskunst Augsburg
Exhibition Catalogue (Publication)
Published by Buchhandlung Walther and Franz König, Cologne, 2022
Edited by Günther Friedrichs
Text by Christian Malycha
The new exhibition catalogue, published on the occasion of André Butzer’s solo exhibition at the Friedrichs Foundation in Weidingen, which was on view from 7 May to 28 August 2022, can be ordered now. The catalogue is jointly published by Buchhandlung Walther König and Franz König Köln.
Incomplete catalogue raisonné of prints
Volume I: 2001–2021
Published by Edition Linn
A new publication of André Butzer’s prints from 2001 until 2021 has been published by Edition Linn. This comprehensive catalogue spans from the artist’s simplest linocuts, to his elaborate series composed in a variety of graphic techniques, comprising the vibrant colours of recent years.
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.
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.
The Painter, a film by Albert Oehlen, Oliver Hirschbiegel and Ben Becker
Under the direction of Oliver Hirschbiegel, actor Ben Becker on screen impersonates the contemporary painter Albert Oehlen and re-creates a painting that Oehlen himself and in parallel is creating step by step in the background, with the actor improvising the process in front of the camera. The finished on-screen painting is an original “Oehlen” on which the artist himself never laid hands. The off screen blueprint painting was destroyed after principal shooting had finished.
Originally planned to be a performative statement the projects developed into a fully fledged feature film of 92 minutes, crossing formal boundaries and questioning the meaning of the creative process and the struggle for authenticity on various levels.
The Painter follows the artist / actor as he is struggling and suffering along this process with us watching in joyful despair and what might happen next until the white canvas has turned into a finished painting.
The outcome is a one-man rollercoaster that appears to be a documentary but in fact is a staged and guided improvisation with the “real” process happening behind the camera. The Painter is a constant flow of the artist’s journey with elements of farce and comedy topped with emotional moments of truth...in front of and behind the camera and leaving it up to us to decide what is real and/or authentic.
Watch the trailer 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.
Albert Oehlen x Sven-Åke Johansson: Rhythm Ace & Slingerland
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin is pleased to announce Rhythm Ace & Slingerland, which was recorded during a concert conceived by Albert Oehlen with percussionist Sven-Åke Johansson at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg in May 2019.
This new album, a co-production by NI VU NI CONNU and Galerie Max Hetzler, with liner notes by Max Dax is one of numerous collaborations between longstanding friends Oehlen and Johansson, following from their 2003 album Shotgun Wedding, also featuring Mayo Thompson of Red Krayola. This album explores how art infuences music and vice versa – a question often explored in Oehlen’s work.
The idea originated from Johansson’s visit to the artist’s studio in 2018. Oehlen showed the drummer his collection of rhythm machines, American and Japanese, from the 1960s onwards. Oehlen explains “I collect old drum machines because I fnd the contradiction fascinating that you collect devices that can do as little as possible. A drum machine is more attractive to me the more limited it is.”
Johansson responds to Oehlen’s musings and collection by creating the performance for Rhythm Ace & Slingerland. Johansson says of the performance “the situation was an extension of my being and also that of this device. It is a win for both: man and machine. So the experiment was successful.”
This record is available on our publications website.
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.
Get your copy here.
Collaboration with "Talk About Lebanon"
Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to team up with "Talk About Lebanon" in the wake of the fatal explosion in Beirut on 4 August 2020. The first in a series of collaborations is a T-shirt featuring a painting by Albert Oehlen from his iconic "Baumbilder" (Tree Paintings) series. All proceeds from the sale will go towards the NGO "Live Love Beirut" whose mission is to provide assistance to those who cannot afford to repair their homes after the explosion.
The T-shirt can be purchased at Talkaboutlebanon.co.uk
Talk about Lebanon
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.