Cologne

Werner Buttner

Galerie Max Hetzler

Things are more peaceful with Werner Büttner of Hamburg, who, being born in 1954, is five years younger than Barfuss. His paintings on the theme of “Sozialstaatsimpressionen” (Impressions of the social state) may not be intended as the well-meaning niceties of the bourgeois quest for beauty, but they don’t really cause pain. For this exhibition Büttner published a catalogue about “The Problems of Miniature Golf in European Painting,” posing that recreation as a petit bourgeois pleasure pendant to the high pathos of the social state. He is also the author of a current book, Schrecken der Demokratie (Horrors of democracy); anyone wanting a real shock can find it there. But regardless of miniature golf, democracy, the state, or anything else, Büttner’s paintings are basically well and good.

The works draw on trivial motifs—not miniature golf, but such things as supplicating hands, a flying

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