About the Artwork

Werner Büttner

This artist's profile and the listed artworks have been verified and approved by Simon Lee Gallery

Werner Büttner is a famous German artist renowned for his canvases and collages.

Biography of Werner Büttner

Werner Büttner, born in 1954 in Jena, Germany, is an artist known for his remarkable ability to unveil profound layers of meaning hidden within the seemingly mundane aspects of everyday life. Through his canvases and collages, he portrays a tragicomic reality that fearlessly challenges social norms with a potent blend of irony and satire, all while maintaining a strong connection to the rich history of painting.

Embodying an unapologetic philosophy, Büttner, alongside fellow artists Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen, emerged as a powerful voice in Hamburg during the late 1970s. Their collective belief was that art should not shy away from depicting the moral failures of humanity within society. Together, they forged a subversive visual language that would later be termed 'Bad Painting.' This bold approach discarded the conventional techniques and tastes associated with painting, opting instead for an aesthetic that fearlessly reinvented the medium.

Werner Büttner's Art Style

Büttner's artistic foundation lies in traditional subjects such as still life, landscape, self-portraiture, allegory, historical painting, and nudes. He approaches these subjects with deliberate, slovenly realism that celebrates imperfection, reflecting his personal journey growing up in post-war Europe before the reunification of Germany.

His paintings emerge from the fringes of society and take shape in series, guided not by standardized criteria but by self-imposed, enigmatic parameters. The medium through which Büttner communicates is humor, albeit a dark, unapologetic, and absurd one. His carefully chosen titles offer a glimpse into his finely tuned sense of irony, often revealing raw and bitter truths.

Büttner's artistic practice delves into the relentless absurdity of our misguided society, addressing the turbulence of political and socioeconomic misfortune. He discards technical prowess in art and, instead, focuses on conveying what he perceives as raw and unfiltered as possible. With an unapologetic lack of reverence, Büttner presents a radical perspective of truth.