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Werner Büttner

Werner Büttner

*  1954 Jena

Born in Jena in 1954, Werner Büttner moved to Western Germany with his parents in 1960. He began studying law in Berlin in 1974 and founded during that time the 'Liga zur Bekämpfung des widersprüchlichen Verhaltens' [League against contradictory behaviour] together with Albert Oehlen. In his shared studio the autodidact Büttner painted large, fierce and quick paintings with a pastose colouring. The brown colours stood in contrast to the colourfulness of the 'Junge Wilden', with whom the paintings were often seen and exhibited. He broke off his studies and moved to Hamburg in 1977 where he published his first essays and drawings in the 'Dum Dum Liga Journal' of which he was a co-founder. Together with Oehlen he made murals and produced a record. Both artists founded other spectacular associations, e.g. the 'Samenbank für DDR-Flüchtlinge' together with Georg Herold in 1980. Since 1982 they participated in various group projects, for example together with Martin Kippenberger. Büttner also published a large number of his own texts, which merged with his painting to 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 relativised. Büttner used all kinds of painting, painted still lives, genre paintings, solf-portraits, pictures of animals, history paintings and emblematic paintings. Colours were mixed on the canvas and formed by straight margins and black lines. The painter dripped long lines of colour on this pastose painting, which became his trademark. Since the 1990s the artist increasingly attended to drawings and printed graphics and worked with large format collages. Werner Büttner holds a chair at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg since 1989.