André Butzer: Solo exhibition

17 March - 7 May 2014

N: NASAHEIM, a combination of Anaheim and NASA, an outer space Disneyland, an unimaginable non-location towards which paintings should travel


N: An eternal storage space for color much like light frequencies/thresholds


N: A holy, golden number/letter that knows no earthly measurement and degree


N: The origin of life and death


The N-paintings seem to lack “colour” but the often thinly painted black and white forms are not monochromes. André Butzer is a colourist, “I will always be a colourist and nothing else” and the colour choice of black and white is the result of the inclusion, or acceptance, of all existing hues; the destination, or starting point, of colour potential.


The N-paintings also lack “figures” but the tonal rectangles upon rectangles within rectangular canvases are not a minimalist movement. Visually deviating from Butzer’s previous vivid surplus of figurative expressionism, the N-paintings are painterly, but as with his approach to colour, the pictorial state has reached a density so intense that all figurative indications obliterate, or merge, into what appears to be a singular non-specific entities: Bild (overarching German term for image, picture, painting, holy field). While the N-paintings appear to depict rectangles, they are in fact not because Butzer neither believes in nor can physically recreate the “earthly measurements” that constitute a scientifically geometric rectangle. Butzer clarifies the difference between “real world” and “artistic” geometry- the latter of which does not adhere the formers constraints. Butzer is interested in artistic perfection, what we see is Butzer’s “painterly geometry” which “is about heaven, God, N; something other than the world and the rules applied within the world we exist in.” This dematerialization of form directly displays the infinitely enduring potential of all possible imagery due to its lack of constraints of conceptual and physical properties (fixed imagery); it is the birthplace of imagery, “it is where all I made came from and all I will make will come from.”


The N-paintings are an unreachable, un-picturable likeness of N, presented in the only way that a non-space can be, through a medium unapologetically and acknowledgingly unable to represent reality, remaining parallel: painting. The non-chronological nature of painting is “made to be the medium of N because it is about relation and proportion, never about time, process, progress or accumulation.” And for the paintings which appear to deviate from the specific visual nature of the N-paintings, such as Butzer’s addition of his first post-N [sic] work, a chromatically-rich figure painting, there is no difference. Each is just as complex, neither is simplified, they “all belong together. The N-paintings are the true beginning.”


Butzer’s second solo exhibition marks Carbon 12’s 40th exhibition in tandem with the artist’s 40th year.


André Butzer (b.1973, Germany) is one of Germany’s most relevant contemporary artists with over 220 worldwide exhibitions including prestigious institutions such as MUMOK, the Kunsthalle Nuernberg, and works in the collections of Stuttgart Kunst Museum, MOCA Los Angeles, LACMA, Sammlung Goetz and the Scharpff Collection, amongst many others. Butzer lives and works in Rangsdorf, near Berlin.


— Katrina Kufer