The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Werner Büttner: Gemeine Wahrheiten opens at the ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art
Werner Büttner, Die Probleme des Minigolfs in der europäischen Malerei Nr. 4, 1982. Oil on canvas, 150 x 120 cm, Private collection (courtesy Gallery Max Hetzler) © Werner Büttner. Photo: Harro Wolter.

KARLSRUHE.- With the retrospective “Werner Büttner. Gemeine Wahrheiten” the ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art holds the most comprehensive exhibition to date of the work of Hamburg artist Werner Büttner. Together with Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen, the artist has continued to exert a sustained impact on the European art scene since the early 1980s. Pictures, drawings, collages and sculptures are testimony to the sheer wealth of Büttner’s ingenuity and irony, but also to his biting sarcasm with respect to social realities. The exhibition highlights the significance of Werner Büttner in the context of the development of late 20th century German painting to which he made a decisive influence, and presents him as one its central figures and pioneers.

“At that time, no less than I do today, I took and continue to take painting as seriously as I do my cookware or my car.” (Werner Büttner)

At the beginning of the 1980s a vital, impetuous and at times radical painter’s scene began establishing itself in several centers of German art. The common attitude was one of provocative questioning of that which painting was or sought to be. With the choice of consciously trivial or absurd motives and themes, painting was reduced to the apparently ridiculous. Brusque rejection was the initial response to this art scene, the most important centers of which began crystalizing in Cologne, Berlin and Hamburg. With an apparently pointedly succinct painting style oscillating between abstraction and borrowings from the world of objects, the artists produced large-scale paintings, conceived as an assault on ‘good taste’ and ‘quality art’. Malice and cynicism towards the emerging neoliberal society of the Helmut Kohl era was the characteristic tenor of many of the works. In spite of the adopted “who gives a damn?” attitude, the art scene that gathered around Büttner was a decidedly political one. Alongside Werner Büttner, Martin Kippenberger and Albert Ohelen were also at the center of the former Hamburg painting scene to which the likes of Hubert Kiecol, Markus Oehlen and Georg Herold were also associated.

“Büttners concept of art is more realistic. The only truth of the postrevolutionary phase runs: the tactic of survival also applies to art. (...) Thus, Büttner uses his pictures as a formula for battle, his paintings as a weapon with which he opposes, with which he attacks and defends himself. He attacks all and everything, even himself and painting. (...) His works thus have such wonderful, ironic titles such as Probleme des Minigolfs in der europäischen Malerei [The Problem of Minigolf in European Painting] (1982/1983) – ‘propaganda against everything’, ‘rebellious reinterpretation of mean truths.’” (Peter Weibel)

The exhibition’s 300 paintings, drawings, collages and sculptures of the primarily comprise Werner Büttner’s works who, following the reinvigoration of object painting during the 1960s and 1970s, began to break with its illusionism and to finally strip it of everything bourgeois. By way of his emphatically rough and coarse technique, Büttner turned against the accepted notions as to what abstract and object art should be. He recorded all written, oral or artistic expressions from his lifeworld, crushed the found both in terms of motif and content before going on to reassembling them into the picture, so that at times distinctive combinations emerge, such as “Stilleben mit Wolpertinger und beschädigtem de Chirico” [Still Life with Jackolope and Damaged de Chirico] (1984). In his more recent works, C-Prints, Büttner assembles the motifs – in spite of their proximity to digitally produced pictures – entirely by hand with a knife and scissors, making the inclusion of an entire range of expressive forms from the lifeworld even more evident.

No other artist from the Hamburg painter’s scene of the time cultivates such a cryptic treatment of language and its relationship to art as does Werner Büttner. Titles such as “Die Probleme des Minigolfs in der europäischen Malerei“ [The Problems of Minigolf in European Painting] (1982) or “Moderne Kunst kann man verstehen, moderne Welt nicht” [One can Understand Modern Art, but not the Modern World] (1985) testify both to his sinister humor and depth of discourse in art. Other titles, such as “Die Russische Revolution vom Hörensagen und in Öl” [The Russian Revolution from Hearsay and in Oil] (1985) or “Wetterfester Schmetterling” [Weatherproof Butterfly] (2008), again testify to Büttner‘s social criticism.

Today's News

April 8, 2013

Mexican archaeologists find what may possibly be a pre-hispanic dock in Veracruz

First expansive Sargent watercolor exhibition in twenty years opens at the Brooklyn Museum

World premiere of Thomas Ruff's series photograms at David Zwirner in New York

Japanese illustrated books tell of vibrant reading culture in Edo-period Japan

Tom Wesselmann's Pop art makes a statement at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

First museum retrospective of Meret Oppenheim outside Switzerland on show at Bank Austria Kunstforum

Werner Büttner: Gemeine Wahrheiten opens at the ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art

Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents "Stephen Prina: As He Remembered It"

Giosetta Fioroni's first solo exhibition in North America opens at the Drawing Center

Iranian American artist Shirin Neshat mid-career retrospective opens at Detroit Institute of Arts

Kunsthaus Zürich presents a performance in dialogue with drawings by Rudolf von Laban

The Possibility of Understanding Reality: A new book presents paintings by Carlos Loarca

Exhibition of recent paintings and drawings by Judy Glantzman opens at Betty Cuningham Gallery

Pacific Asia Museum announces new exhibition "Focus on the Subject: The Art of the Harari Collection"

"Yang Fudong: Estranged Paradise, Works from 1993-2012" opens at Kunsthalle Zurich

A series of eight new works and a site-specific installation by Jim Houser at Jonathan Levine Gallery

Marcos Ramírez ERRE's first solo exhibition opens at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

Green Hill Center announces exhibition of North Carolina Abstract artists, independents

Klingons, superheroes and screen goddesses highlight Julien's Auctions Hollywood Legends Event

Janet Rady to hold inaugural auction of Middle Eastern Contemporary art at the Auction Room this summer

Hermes Diamond Blue Jean Crocodile Constance bag in the spotlight at Heritage Auctions

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Boy and an amateur archaeologist unearth legendary Danish king's trove in Germany

2.- Exhibition at The Met illustrates what visitors encountered at The palace of Versailles

3.- Philadelphia Museum of Art opens "Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950"

4.- Exhibition at Michael Hoppen Gallery presents a cross-section of works from Thomas Mailaender's career

5.- New York's Chelsea Hotel celebrity door auction raises $400,000

6.- Stevie Ray Vaughan's first guitar drives Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction to nearly $2.9 million

7.- Lichtenstein's Nude with Blue Hair tops $2.4 million sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples

8.- $6.7 million Fancy Intense Blue Diamond sets auction record at Sotheby's New York

9.- Mexico court blocks sales of controversial Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

10.- Dutch museums to conduct new research on the paintings of Pieter de Hooch

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful