Werk-Detailseite (Ajax)

Michael Buthe



Box with 13 etchings, seven thereof hand coloured
Dimensions: twelve sheets 48 x 76.5 cm, one sheet 37.5 x 48 cm
Signature, inscriptions, markings: signed and numbered at the cover sheet
Copy Number: 10/25
Printer: Wolfgang Wassermann, Cologne
Publisher: Edition Dietmar Werle, Cologne
Accession Number: 1001539.1–13



Michael Buthe's works are often described with the term "oriental", which is quite appropriate for the 13 sheets of his portfolio RAAANNUBIS RITT/RATA.
On rectangular fields of different sizes, densely packed ornamental dissolute forms appear. Feathers, stars, eyes, lightning, plant leaves, snakes, body outlines, wave forms and serrated lines interpenetrate and overlap.
Seven leaves are additionally hand-colored. Buthe freely scattered handprints, splashes of color, brushstrokes, and glazes throughout the sheet, in bright red, yellow, blue, pink, purple, or iridescent gold.1

The image field of the first sheet is completely filled with spirals, eyes, stick figures, stars, and plants overlying dotted or dashed zones. In a second layer, one recognizes figural elements, such as blood-red traces of hand movement. The sheet appears chaotic, full of movement and energy from the painting process.
Just as the artist himself literally absorbed all impressions during his long-distance travels, so his paintings are saturated with pigments of all kinds. Buthe was fascinated by the Arab world, its other colors and the other light, and he seems to have experienced what Paul Klee already reported from his trip to Tunis: "The color has me, I am a painter."2 During his stays, among others in Morocco, Buthe sought to connect with other cultural roots by "playfully taking up pictorial worlds".3


Nadine Stück



1 Vgl. Noemi Smolik, Nicht nur ein Fest für die Augen. Zu fünf Bildern von Michael Buthe, in: Angelika Weßbecher u. a., Michael Buthe. Primavera Pom-peiana, Stuttgart 1989, S. 24–26.
2 Paul Klee, Tagebuch, 16.4.1914, zit. nach: Paul Klee, Tagebücher 1898–1918, bearb. v. Wolfgang Kersten, Bern 1988, S. 350.
3 Christiane Vielhaber, Michael Buthe. Künstler. Kritisches Lexikon der Gegenwartskunst, hrsg. v. Lothar Romain und Detlef Bluemler, München 1992, S. 10