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 Werner Buttner  (1954 - )

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Lived/Active: Germany      Known for: still life, genre, portrait, animal, historical, emblematic painting

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Werner Buettner is primarily known as Werner Buttner

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Werner Büttner was born in Jena in 1954, from where he moved to Western Germany with his parents in 1960.  In Berlin Büttner began to study law in 1974 and at the same time founded the 'Liga zur Bekämpfung des widersprüchlichen Verhaltens' ('League against contradictory behaviour') together with Albert Oehlen.  In his shared studio the autodidact Büttner produced large, fierce and quick paintings with pastose colors.  The brown colors stood in contrast with the colorfulness of the 'Junge Wilden', with whom the paintings were also seen and exhibited.  He broke off his studies and went to Hamburg in 1977, where he published his first essays and drawings in the Dum-Dum-Liga-Journal, which he had co-founded. 

Together with Oehlen, Büttner made murals and produced a record. Together, the artists founded further spectacular associations such as the 'Samenbank für DDR-Flüchtlinge' together with Georg Herold in 1980.  From 1982 they often participated in group projects, for example together with Martin Kippenberger.

Büttner also published many of his own texts, which merged with his paintings to form a new level of meaning.  A subversive-ironic undertone was typical for Büttner and his artist friends.  Their realism was politically motivated and commented on everyday events.  Society's values were questioned and put into perspective.  Büttner used all genres of painting, produced still lives, genre pictures, self-portraits, animal pictures, history paintings and emblematic paintings.  Colors were mixed on the canvas and keep their form due to staight contours and black lines.  The painter dripped long threads of paint on these pastose paintings, which became his trademark.  Since the 1990s the artist has increasingly focused on drawing and print and has worked with large format collages.

Werner Büttner has been a professor at the Hamburg 'Hochschule für Bildende Künste' since 1989.


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