André Butzer - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Tuesday, June 21, 2022 | Phillips

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  • There is no choice with colour. It's all about colour or it's nothing. Nothing is not so good.”
    — André Butzer

    As the largest work-on-paper by contemporary German artist André Butzer to have ever been offered before at auction in Asia, Untitled is impressive in both scale and content. A golden-haired subject with large, oval eyes is situated at the centre of the work, dressed in a collared, cherry-red outfit with blue stick-figure legs. An inhabitant of the artist’s imaginary planet ‘Nasaheim’— a name that combines NASA with the Californian city of Anaheim, home to Disneyland— the protagonist is composed with both gestural mark making and softer stabs that parallel Butzer’s expressionistic approach to painting. Contrasting this are the clearly visible, airy pencil strokes that mark the figure’s outline, which reveal a more delicate side to artist’s working methods when examined from a closer perspective.

    Jean Dubuffet, Figure in Red (Personnage au costume rouge), 1961
    Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph F. Colin
    © 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris


    Though he has been painting and drawing since the mid-1990s, Butzer’s oeuvre is not easy to categorise, with critics drawing favourable comparisons to artists that range from Edvard Munch’s approach to colour and Philip Guston’s cartoon-esque mark making, to the characters of Walt Disney, and the raw, primitive renderings of Jean Dubuffet’s Art Brut. Despite this, working in a style the artist self-coins as ‘Science Fiction Expressionism’, Butzer has formed a unique, artistic language comprised of his own system of characters and signs. Oscillating between joyful and chaotic, and hope and despair, his highly articulate work triumphs style over substance and has become instantly recognisable around the globe.


    With over 200 worldwide exhibitions to his name since his 2003 debut with Galerie Max Hetzler, Butzer has been the subject of major institutional solo exhibitions in recent years, including at the Yuz Museum, Shanghai; Kunsthalle Nuremberg; and Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover. His top result at auction was recently achieved by Phillips in New York in October 2021.

    • Provenance

      Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles
      Private Collection, Colorado
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Literature

      Nino Mier, ed., André Butzer: Works on Paper 2001–2019, Bielefeld/Berlin, 2019, no. 67, p. 149 (illustrated)



signed and dated 'A. Butzer '17' along the lower edge
watercolour on paper
179 x 113 cm. (70 1/2 x 44 1/2 in.)
Painted in 2017.

Full Cataloguing

HK$200,000 - 400,000 

Sold for HK$604,800

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 21 June 2022