Vertiefen und nicht Erweitern' ('Defining not expanding') is the third exhibition in the series 'Cabinets' which explores the working process of internationally renowned artists both emerging and established. 'Cabinets' is a unique series of exhibitions, which has as its overriding reference point, the Renaissance phenomenon 'The Cabinet of Curiosity', otherwise known as 'Wunderkammer'. The term was originally given to rooms displaying objects, antiquities, paintings and other eclectic ephemera from science and the arts and prefigures the birth of the Museum in Western art. Moreover these vitrines also left a spatial legacy credited with the development of Installation art.
The German artist Andrea Büttner examines aspects of creativity and failure through her work, which comprises woodcuts, glass painting and printmaking, often displayed as installations. These displays refer to a sense of modesty, and indeed shame, felt in a shameless world dominated by a desire for entitlement, disclosure and exhibitionism. To be shameful, according to Lars Bang Larsen, is to be inexplicable to oneself, and represents the dilemma of communication. Buttner's visibly homespun art refers to primitive and amateur craft techniques employed by early Modernists such as the 'Blaue Reiter' group or developed by Bavarian artisans. These are employed to shed light on the problematic of the artistic process, and the mediation between private production and public reception. Her use of spiritual imagery stems from the assertion that contemporary art and organised religion are both highly codified entities, and serves as a means of unpacking and critiquing these structures.
Previous exhibitions include solo shows at Hollybush Gardens, London; Fabio Tiboni, Bologne, Italy; Crystal Palace, Stokholm and the Goethe Institute in Dublin. Group shows include Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2006, Liverpool/London; The new Wright Biennial UCLA, Los Angeles and 'Nought to Sixty' at the ICA, London. Forthcoming exhibitions include 'East International' in Norwich and a solo show at Croy Nielson in Berlin.
Each 'Cabinets' exhibition will consist of three substantial, purpose-built vitrines. The artist's interaction with these generates a project, which, we hope, will uncover new territories of research previously unseen in their work. Furthermore, the cabinets' highly specific format suggests a particular form of audience engagement and approach, thus altering and expanding the works' viewing conditions.
Accompanying the series will be a limited edition box set of printed matter, designed by 'Language of Form'. Pamphlets will accompany each show with a commissioned text written by Nicolas de Oliveira and Nicola Oxley, founding Directors of the 'Museum of Installation' and co-authors of several seminal books on installation art.
The next exhibition in the series will be by Daniel Silver.