Werner Büttner
Werner Büttner - Analogies, Allegories and Metaphors of the Human Condition
2022.06.24 - 08.21
Triumph Gallery is pleased to present “Analogies, Allegories and Metaphors of the Human Condition,” Werner Büttner's first solo exhibition in China from June 24 to August 21, 2022. The exhibition covers about 30 years of Büttner's representative works from the early 1990s to the present, including a number of oil paintings and works on paper, covering subjects such as objects, landscapes, modern science, and art history.

Werner Büttner (b.1954, Jena, Germany) , was a professor at the Oil Painting Department of the Hamburg University of Fine Arts. His works are often exhibited in many art institutions around the world and are collected by many important institutions and foundations.

As the intellectual figurehead of one of Germany most renowned artist groups in the 1980s, Büttner, alongside Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen, have together shaped a subversive visual language that upended the technique and aesthetic of traditional painting, forming an artistic style that was later christened “Bad Painting” in the canon of German art history.

Büttner's practice explores the relentless folly of our misguided society. In his works, he uses humor and satire to fight social norms and depict a sense of reality with mixed feelings of sadness and joy. As the artist himself said: “Art has to have something to do with reality, with what is happening on this planet. If it doesn’t, for me it is boring.”

The human condition in all its glory and its misery is at the core of his interest and compassion. His intellectual curiosity and rigorous thinking are paired with a heightened sensibility for human strife. And all his artworks are witness to this uncompromising commitment to “La Condition Humaine.”
Werner Büttner
Werner Büttner was born in Jena, Germany in 1954, currently lives and works in Geesthacht, Germany.  In his early years, Werner Büttner went through the East-West German Cold War. With experience as a prison social worker and legal aid provider, Büttner is renowned for drawing out deeper layers of meaning from quotidian life that at first glance seem banal.  He has a unique ability to observe and interpret the experiences of different social strata of humanity amidst turbulent overarching circumstances. His canvases and collages depict a tragi-comic reality, confronting social norms with both irony and satire, while retaining a firm grip on the history of painting.

Driven by this unapologetic philosophy, Büttner, alongside Martin Kippenberger (1953-1997, Germany) and Albert Oehlen (b.1954), became a reactive voice in Hamburg in the late 1970s. The trio felt that art needed to depict the failures of human morality within society. The subversive visual language they shaped, dubbed ‘Bad Painting’, dispensed with painterly conventions of technique and taste, in favour of an aesthetic that defiantly reinvented the medium.
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