Werner Büttner

Plenty of Room for all Sorts of Happiness

May 24 — Jun 23, 2018
London

Marlborough is pleased to present a solo exhibition of works by the leading German artist Werner Büttner.

Plenty of Room for All Sorts of Happiness will be displayed on both floors of Marlborough's Mayfair gallery space. The exhibition will encompass new works made over the last two years together with a rich selection of paintings from the 1980s when Büttner first came to worldwide attention as part of a new generation of German artists.  Imbued with a dark humour, Büttner’s work has for nearly four decades pursued one essential underlying theme: the pursuit of lucidity as a tool for survival in a sordid world.

Until his previous show with Marlborough in 2015, Büttner had not had a major exhibition in London since his much lauded 1986 show at the ICA, London. For this reason, the works from 1981-1989 — now instantly recognizable as emblematic of their time — still seem as fresh as the new paintings that will be exhibited alongside them. Continuities as well as differences will be evident: Then and now, Büttner is above all an inventor of images, a painter always looking for new ways to convey a response to the world.

In 2013 Büttner was the subject of a major retrospective, Werner Büttner: Gemeine Wahrheiten (Common Truths), at ZKM, Karlsruhe, which travelled to the Weserburg Museum of Contemporary Art, Bremen in 2014. Hatje Cantz published a major monograph in conjunction with the exhibition. In 2016 Marlborough, in collaboration with Black Dog Publishing, issued the first substantial books on his practice in English rather than German: My Looting Eye and Coincidence in Splendour.

This exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an interview with Werner B üttner by Hans Ulrich Obrist and an essay by the American art critic and poet Barry Schwabsky.

Works

Disappointed Pupil Leaves the House of Luxury (Ein enttäuschter Elève verlässt das Haus von Luxus ), 1987, oil on canvas, 59 × 75 in., 149.9 × 190.5 cm
Installation View.
Installation View.
Welfare State Impressions (Sozialstaatimpressionen), 1982, oil on canvas, 59 × 47 in., 149.9 × 119.4 cm
Installation View.
Installation View.
Bathing Russians (Badende Russen), 1984, oil on canvas, 75 × 189 in., 190.5 × 480.1 cm
Installation View.
Plenty of Room for All Sorts of Happiness (Viel Raum für allerlei Glück), 2017, oil on canvas, 941/2 × 75 in., 240 × 190.5 cm
Installation View.
A Flogged Horse (Ein geschundener Gaul), 2016, oil on canvas, 75 × 59 in., 190.5 × 149.9 cm
Installation View.
Installation View.
Installation View.
‘Made in Germany’ this Time (Diesmal 'Made in Germany'), 2016, oil on canvas, 59 × 75 in., 149.9 × 190.5 cm

Press