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André Butzer, Untitled (Früchte), 2016–17, oil on canvas, 9' 6“ x 14' 1 1/4”.

André Butzer

Galerie Max Hetzler

André Butzer, Untitled (Früchte), 2016–17, oil on canvas, 9' 6“ x 14' 1 1/4”.

I was lucky to see André Butzer’s new paintings on a sunny winter day, with natural light coming in to make visible what is hidden in their black surfaces. There were eight big and nine medium-size dark paintings in Galerie Max Hetzler’s Bleibtreustraße location, along with one very large and colorful canvas, a small work on paper executed in colored pencil and crayon, and an artist’s book. The dark paintings each have a sort of vertical seam, right of the center, where light seems to come through, sometimes clear, most often faint. Around this so-called Fuge, or gap, brushwork is visible, dark in dark, best seen from the side. Through this painted opening one feels it is actually possible to enter these hermetic paintings; the fissure implies a sense of depth and inner life. At times, it looks like the thin trunk of a sapling in winter, slightly crooked, but there is nothing to

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