Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Ganze Mandeln waschen für Vogelfutter

Ganze Mandeln waschen für Vogelfutter
signed 'A. Butzer' (lower right); signed, titled, artist's drawings and dated 'A. Butzer '05 "'Ganze Mandeln waschen' Vogelfutter"' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
98 3⁄8 x 78 3⁄4in. (250 x 200cm.)
Painted in 2005
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2005.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Lot Essay

Painted in 2005, and acquired by the present owner that year, André Butzer’s Ganze Mandeln waschen für Vogelfutter emanates a potent vibrancy of chromatic intensity. A central figure—alien and robotic—bursts from the crimson ground, his body awash with green flourishes, black slashes and a panoply of other painterly marks. As a young artist, Butzer turned to paintings by Albert Oehlen and Asger Jorn, whose influence can be seen in the present work’s bright, expressive palette. Ganze Mandeln waschen für Vogelfutter, whose title translates from German to ‘Wash whole almonds for birdseed’, was inspired by Paul Celan’s early poem Zähle die Mandeln. In the text, the narrator directs an unnamed ‘you’ to count the almonds, a sense evoked here by the figure’s unwavering gaze. Like Celan’s poem, Butzer’s painting too moves between abstraction and figuration; writing in Artforum, the art critic Jurriaan Benschop noted that Butzer ‘makes the act of painting seem a mythological enterprise in which figures and forms represent antagonistic life-forces’ (J. Benschop, ‘Review: André Butzer’, Artform, April 2018). Indeed, there is an urgency to Butzer’s canvases; in Ganze Mandeln waschen für Vogelfutter, the figure thrums with a power that radiates beyond the constraints of the canvas.

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