Andrea Büttner asks foundational questions about how art functions in culture, but also about how it operates as a psychological phenomenon for the individual maker or viewer. She alternates between forms like the woodcut, which privileges the use of the hand and the rough interaction of materials, and research-based projects that delineate the broader contexts in which her ideas circulate. In both cases, however, her work is conceptually oriented, even as it suggests that institutional and political critiques can also be defined by visual expressivity. Her use of imagery evocative of religious themes (particularly those associated with Catholic monastic traditions), as well as her open engagement with philosophical texts, highlights contrasts between the commodification of contemporary art and the intellectual and emotional possibilities offered by other aesthetic modes. By opening up artistic discourse in these ways, she focuses attention on subjective experiences of putting art out into the world and confronts the paradoxical emotions that accompany such acts.
Andrea Büttner (b. 1972, Stuttgart, Germany) was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2017. She has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at institutions worldwide, including Bergen Kunsthall, Norway (2018); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2017); Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Switzerland (2017); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2016); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2015); Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany (2014); Tate Britain, London (2014); Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff Centre, Canada (2014); National Museum Cardiff, Wales (2014); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2014); and MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany (2013). Recent group exhibitions include Affective Affinities, 33rd Bienal de São Paulo (2019); dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany and Kabul, Afghanistan (2012); and 29th Bienal de São Paulo (2010). Her work is in the permanent collections of museums including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Reina Sofia, Madrid; Tate, London; and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Büttner is also the author of several books, including the recently released Shame (König Books, 2020). Büttner lives and works in Berlin.