MINNEAPOLIS, November 10 2015—The Walker Art Center is pleased to present Andrea Büttner, the German artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States on view in the Burnet Gallery from November 21, 2015 through April 10, 2016. Andrea Büttner is complemented by a separate presentation of Piano Destructions (2014), the artist’s multi-channel video installation on view in the Medtronic Gallery November 21, 2015 through May 15, 2016.
Throughout her work, Andrea Büttner (b. 1972) consistently embraces a range of printmaking and print techniques, from woodcut and screenprints to offset printing and a recent foray into etching, including a new series made expressly for the exhibition. By deploying reverse glass painting, sculpture, collage, the moving image, photography, textile, and including other artist’s work in her exhibitions, Büttner traverses mediums, materials, and social subjects. Andrea Büttner’s practice intertwines art historical concepts with social and political issues, often exploring such unfashionable connections as the relationship between art and religion, deviance and ethics, or shame and visual expression.
“The Walker is delighted to present the first solo presentation of Andrea Büttner in the United States,” said Fionn Meade, the Walker’s Artistic Director and exhibition curator. “We are thrilled to introduce this multifaceted artist to our audiences through the exhibition and a newly commissioned installation that captures the interwoven nature of her work.”
Presenting existing work alongside newly commissioned work, Andrea Büttner includes a pivotal series of eleven large off-set prints culled from her visual exploration of German philosopher Immanuel Kant’s 1790 text Critique of the Power of Judgment (published last year by Felix Meiner Verlag and Museum Ludwig, Cologne). This presentation of “Kant’s pictures” features composite digital illustrations, mixing historical images the philosopher may have had in mind while writing his treatise, with contemporary image constellations configured by the artist as reader, interpreter, and questioner.
The installation also features a range of new works, including a living moss sculpture, handcrafted piano benches, large-scale woodcuts, and etchings that capture and transpose the smear and blur of fingerprints left on cell phone screens. Creating connections between art history, ethics, and the vulnerability of the human body, Andrea Büttner explores and challenges the belief systems that underpin such foundational notions as poverty, shame, and value. Through deploying a wide range of pre-modernist media, the artist restores outmoded methods to our time in order to provoke and challenge conventions of high and low culture, constructing a profound space between ornate and humble, and the urge to judge or remain partially withheld.
Exhibition curator: Fionn Meade, Walker Art Center Artistic Director.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born in Stuttgart in 1972, Andrea Büttner received her M.F.A. from the University of the Arts, Berlin, her M.A. in art history and philosophy from Humboldt University, Berlin, and her Ph.D. from the Royal College of Art, London, where she wrote a thesis on the relationship between art and shame. Büttner has been featured in solo exhibitions at Tate Britain, Whitechapel Gallery, Hollybush Gardens, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, as well as the Banff Centre in Canada, the National Museum Cardiff in Wales, and Museum Ludwig in Cologne, among others. In 2009, Büttner was the recipient of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women and her work was featured in Documenta 13. Büttner currently lives and works in London and Frankfurt.
Opening-Day Talk: Andrea Büttner
Saturday, November 21, 2 pm
Free with gallery admission
Copenhagen-based art historian and writer Lars Bang Larsen will join Andrea Büttner and Fionn Meade for an in-gallery conversation.
November 21, 2015–May 15, 2016
To complement the exhibition Andrea Büttne_r, the Walker Art Center presents the artist’s multi-channel video installation Piano Destructions. Piano Destructions uses the international Fluxus performances of the 1960s as a starting point, in which predominantly male artists destroyed pianos as part of their artistic process, notably George Maciunas and other artists represented in the Walker’s collection such as Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik, and Ben Vautier. The burning, dropping, smashing, and hammering of the pianos—an instrument traditionally associated with bourgeois female education—resulted in highly charged and gendered acts.
In 2014, Andrea Büttner orchestrated a performance at the Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff, Canada) of nine female pianists playing in chorus, in counterpoint to the framing of this male aggression in art history. Selections included Romantic-era pieces by Frédéric Chopin and Robert Schumann and were accompanied by two choir pieces by Renaissance composer Claudio Monteverdi, which were arranged for piano for the first time.
Recorded for nine speakers, one for each piano in the performance, Piano Destructions plays the concert alongside archival footage of the destructions. The Walker’s presentation will also include a new large-scale woodcut by Andrea Büttner entitled Piano (2015).
Andrea Büttner is made possible by generous support from Franklin Art Works, Linda and Larry Perlman, and RBC Wealth Management.