With the retrospective “Werner Büttner. Gemeine Wahrheiten” the ZKM holds – in cooperation with the Museum Weserbug | Museum of Contemporary Art – the most comprehensive exhibition to date of works by the Hamburg artist.
Together with Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen, he has exerted a sustained influence on the European art scene since the early 1980s. Paintings, drawings, collages and sculptures testify to Büttner’s ingenuity, his sense of irony, but also his biting derision of social realities. With around 300 works, the retrospective underscores Büttner’s significance with respect to the development of German painting at the close of the 20th century, characterizing him as one of the central figures and pioneers. The focus of the exhibition is Werner Büttner the painter, who, following the reinvigoration of figurative painting in the 1960s and 1970s, began to break with its illusionism and to finally strip it of all bourgeois elements.
A comprehensive publication will appear in conjunction with the exhibition edited by Peter Weibel and Andreas Beitin. With Texts by Andreas Beitin, Harald Falckenberg, Zdenek Felix, Eckhart Gillen, Walter Grasskamp, Eva Meyer-Hermann, Johannes Meinhardt, Daria Mille, Wolfgang Ullrich, Peter Weibel as well as an Interview with Werner Büttner by Oliver Zybok, a talk by Werner Hofmann with Werner Büttner and artists' statements from Jonathan Meese, Bazon Brock, Albert Oehlen in a discussion with Jörg Heiser and Daniel Richter.