André Butzer



André Butzer

Past: September 5 → October 17, 2020

Fusing European Expressionism with American popular culture since 1994, André Butzer has painted his way through the artistic and political extremes of the 20th century: life and death, consumption and mass entertainment. Today, he is one of the internationally most recognized painters of his generation.

After having completed his black, so-called N-Paintings (2010–2017) which fundamentally explored colour, light, proportions, and the potentiality of the painterly expression, he relocated to California. There, his paintings opened up again, colour and even figuration returned. With this “American experience”, Butzer reinvented himself. Once more, he turned his paintings into a “primary area of language”.

His second Paris exhibition at Galerie Max Hetzler is a profound display of André Butzer’s matured painterly mastery. He still strives to articulate dreams of a possible future, particularly as painting is always a matter yet-to-be: “Incineration, Rembrandt, beginning and end, synchronicity, the suspension of time, the origins of life, flowers.”

Andre butzer 2020 galerie max hetzler 3 medium
André Butzer, Installation view Courtesy de l’artiste et galerie Max Hetzler, Paris

As painting can never be found in its mere surface, Butzer, defying the unfruitful distinction between abstraction and figuration, avails himself to a careful balance of planar colours and recurring contrasts. He extends his pictorial means and exposes them to light itself, because: “All is light and I, in a sunhat, measure its beams. The genetics being blue, red, yellow, and the colour of flesh.”

Given his new Californian neighbourhood, Butzer feels stronger than ever that Walt Disney might indeed be the ultimate challenge for Expressionism, Henri Matisse as well as for the fair idea of man.

For André Butzer, “paintings are localizations of the greatest despair and the greatest hope” and this is exactly why “they come closest to the very joy and aid we are in dire need of.”


André Butzer (1973, Stuttgart) lives in Altadena, California. Solo exhibitions at the YUZ Museum Shanghai and the Museum of Light, Hokuto will open in September, respectively October 2020. His work was presented in several solo exhibition in renowned institutions such as IKOB — Museum of Contemporary Art, Eupen (2018); Växjö Konsthall (2017); Bayerisches Armeemuseum, Ingoldstadt and Neue Galerie, Gladbeck (both 2016); Kunstverein Reutlingen (2015); Künstlerhaus — Halle für Kunst und Medien, Graz (2014); Kestnergesellschaft, Hanovre and Kunsthistorisches Museum — CAC Contemporary Art Club im Theseustempel, Vienna (2011); Kunsthalle Nuremberg (2009) and Kunstverein Heilbronn (2004). Butzer participated in numerous important group exhibitions, at Rubell Museum, Miami and Hôtel des Invalides, Paris (both 2019); Aïshti Foundation, Beirut and Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles (both 2018); Kunsthalle Krems (2017); Deichtorhallen Hamburg (2016); Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2015); Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (2014); Kunsthalle Emden and MOCA, Los Angeles (both 2013); Museum für Konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt / Kunstraum Munich (2012); Kunstmuseum St. Gallen (2011); MuMok, Vienna and ZKM — Museum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe (both 2008); Carré d’art, Nîmes (2005) and Kunsthalle Hamburg (2003). Among others, works of his are part of the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Carré d’Art, Nîmes; Contemporary Art Collection of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn; Deichtorhallen Hamburg; Hall Art Foundation, Reading; Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin State Museums, Berlin, Germany; Nationalgalerie / Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; LACMA, Los Angeles; MOCA, Los Angeles; Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum, Bremen; Rubell Museum, Miami; and the YUZ Museum, Shanghai.

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The artist

  • André Butzer