The Walker presents the first US solo exhibition of the work of German artist Andrea Büttner (b. 1972), including a newly commissioned installation. Büttner’s work often creates connections between art history and social or ethical issues, with a particular interest in notions of poverty, shame, value, and vulnerability, exploring and challenging the belief systems that underpin them.
Deliberately working within a range of premodernist media that includes techniques such as woodcut, reverse glass painting, weaving, and moss cultivation, Büttner emphasizes the direct materiality of such methods in dialogue and counterpoint with video, performance, and installation. By restoring outmoded methods to our time, the artist challenges conventions of high and low, constructing a profound space between ornate and humble, cool remove and humility, and the urge to judge or remain partially withheld.
She often infuses her work with her own primary research on underrecognized artists who engaged in socially responsive projects, including HAP Grieshaber and Gwen John. In other projects, Büttner has positioned the relatively anonymous alongside a questioning of monumental or iconic figures, a contrast evident in the artist’s recent illustration of German philosopher Immanuel Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgment (1790).
Curator: Fionn Meade