“ ..bringing peace to painting for the 21 and 22 century.”- Andre Butzer
Rhona Hoffman Gallery is pleased to present a survey of recent paintings and works on paper by German abstract artist Andre Butzer. This will be his first solo exhibition in the Midwest.
Andre Butzer describes his figurative works from the late 1990’s and early 2000’s as "Science-Fiction-Expressionism” in which mutated comic characters represent historical patronages and address global aspects of history. Simultaneously familiar yet alien, Butzer’s exaggerated figures are deformed to the extent that they become monstrous. In more recent works, Butzer has further abstracted both the figure and picture plane, substituting more recognizable characters with amorphous, flesh-like formations surrounded by bright chords of paint (often painted directly from the paint tube). Such is the case for recent works from the ‘Neo-Cezannismus’ series such as Planetarium Lucky Luke (Neo Cezannismus), 2010 (which references a popular comic-book series created by Belgian cartoonist Morris) and Tote Kuhe im Himmel (Neo Cezannismus), 2011. In Mutterbild (NASAHEIM), 2011, primary colored lines against a gray canvas reference Piet Mondrian, depicting what could be either an aerial view of a landscape or an abstracted path to reach it. The title, ‘Mother-image of Nasaheim,’ refers to Butzer’s fictional place of utopia, a combination of NASA and Anaheim, the city in California in which Disneyland is located. Butzer acknowledges the impossibility of depicting a reality, and experiments with abstraction. Repetition is a crucial component within his paintings as forms, figures, and lines continue to reappear throughout his work in various configurations.
As early as 2001 Butzer established the term ‘N’, a golden letter or number he uses to coloristically calculate his canvas. The ‘N’ paintings (exemplified in Untitled, 2011) are phenomenological works. Imbedded in escalations from gray to white are primary colors which allow the painting to simultaneously capture and reflect light. Black constructions in the upper right hand corner leave the left portion of the canvas open, and encourage the viewer to consider the familiarity of the past. The artist describes this work as containing the greatest possible sum of pictures, in which lies infinite possibilities.
Andre Butzer was born in 1973 in Stuttgart, Germany. Recent retrospectives include ‘Probably the Best Abstract Painter in the World’ at the Kestner Society in Hanover in 2011, and ‘Many Dead in the Homeland: Fanta, Sprite, UHT Milk, Mickey and Donald’ at the Kunsthalle Nernberg in 2009. His work has been exhibited in numerous institutions such as the Oldenburger Kunstverein, MUMOK, Vienna, ZKM - Museum fer Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe, Kestnergesellschaft, Hanove; Rubell Family Collection, Miami, Collection Goetz, Munich, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Carre d’art ‘ Musee d’art contemporain de Nemes, Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund, Kunstverein Ulm, Kunsthalle Hamburg, Kunstverein Graz, Kunstverein Frankfurt, and Kunsthalle Baden-Baden.
In 1996 Butzer co-founded the collective Isotope Academy and in 2001, with the artist Bjorn Dahlem, created the Institute for SDI Dream Research. He currently lives and works in Rangsdorf, Germany.