'Smog - und Abgasprobleme' (Smog and Gas Problems) by Andre Butzer

‘Goethe komischer Mann’ by André Butzer @ Nino Mier Gallery

January 25, 2019

Nino Mier Gallery has made a splash onto the Los Angeles Contemporary Art scene with a resplendent opening. The grand and imposing compositions of André Butzer do not dare to be daunting, but rather festive, each in an inconceivably original manner. This is childish jubilee carried forward into adulthood, providing a beaming light amidst the shadows of the Western culture’s nihilistic crisis foreshadowed by Frederick Nietzsche which provides an odious burden to resist and overcome.


Happiness is the perfect antidote to confronting the query what is the proper task of life? And yet, with unexamined lives, the direction of ablating the darkened pox can yield a further burrowing of one’s head underneath the sand, to escape the abyss. Mr. Butzer, however, shows a proper pursuit amidst the loss of the grasp transcendence in Western history, and that is to electrically shine.


His works are a collection of lamp posts, as it were, of overpowering innocence. They are a proper momentum forward from the abstract experimentations from the 20th century toward imbuing the primitive ambition of toying with the formal concepts of fine artistry with plain ol’ fashioned fun. And there is an exuberance of fun with passionate red consistently galvanizing the audience, not toward intimidation but toward optimism.


These are talismans against withdrawing from the world and its havoc, from directing one’s conscience poorly – quintessentially in the direction of fear. To fear, to dread, is to render inert; it is not to affirm life but to affirm death. Optimism, however, justifies in the conscience a reason to live – that life will improve; that it will grow and increase towards abundance. Irrespective of the chaotic trajectory of this motion, giving reason to persevere through the tempest is a difficult obstacle which Mr. Butzer tremendously lowers with his art.


We can playfully imagine the mirthful land that his figures inhabit, with almost all possessing a smile, and all empty of the slightest hint of chore or boredom. To be at peace with life does bring about this sense of comfort and satisfaction, which enables the spirit to entertain itself with play versus the concern of resolving the anxieties that accompany any life. And it is this recrudescence of childhood innocence, so neglected in daily life, that masterfully bonks the head of each subjective viewer, being reminded tacitly on why he or she wakes up in the morning: it is for the opportunity to experience such a gift – that of the ability of creation.


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