Wedding: Life & Death

We’ve come to the end of our Wedding themed week – having given you a taste of the more creative and experimental nightlife that Wedding has to offer (the Prussian-bathhouse turned club and art venue Stattbad Wedding), we’ve also shown you a range of art spaces and galleries tucked away in Wedding. Next door to the spacious and dynamic Galerie Max Hetzler, we came across another gallery blooming with life: Galerie Guido W. Baudach.
If you like Wedding so much, why don’t you just move there?
Oddly enough, our Wedding week coincides with my move from the empire of galleries that is Auguststrasse to the up and coming creative district of Wedding. I must admit, part of me will miss the incongruity of my GDR Plattenbau apartment shying away on the side streets of the nearly too hip and busy Hackescher Market, but I’m looking forward to exploring what Wedding has to offer… which is why visiting Galerie Guido W. Baudach was like discovering a new aesthetic horizon. 
Similar to other art venues in Wedding, the capabilities of the expansive space and what it exudes, is really inspiring. The exhibit space reminds me of my old high school gymnasium – just with nicer walls, but the linoleum floor with black skid marks from shoes adds a nice raw touch. Despite housing the globe-trotting abstract artist André Butzer’s latest exhibit of four large-scale paintings, upon first entering the gallery I am more taken by the geometry and immensity of the gallery – the paintings with their perfect geometric shapes simply blend in. 
… or is this minimalism? 
From afar Butzer’s paintings – which are dominated by large black rectangular objects on a gray background – look quite minimalistic. Not at all wildly abstract, they are a bit more tamed compared to Butzer’s other work. However, with a closer eye to the canvas, what is apparently a simple gray background is actually made up of a continuum of colors and hues with red, blue, and yellow tones. The large black geometric shapes, one vertical and one horizontal, represent life and death respectively. These paintings embody Butzer’s so-called “N” paintings which symbolically represent infinity, and which visually mirror the optics and colorful continuum of light when working between the scales of white and gray.  In other words, the paintings are definitely not minimalistic by any means.

Andre Butzer “Is this really not minimalism?” André Butzer, Untitled 2012, Courtesy of Galerie Guido W. Baudach

The huge gray space and playful color tones invite the viewer to examine the canvas closer and find their own meaning… if they so wish. Connecting and balancing the geometrical dimensions of life and death, Butzer’s work alludes to our shared humanity and the same experiences we will all face – but to varying degrees; some life-shapes are longer, others are shorter – the same goes for death.  But how is it that death can be shorter or longer? 
Black is the only constant in these paintings, but within each black geometric embodiment of life and death exists a strip of white-gray space. This interior space gives the viewer hope and satisfies the search for more shimmering color and artistic meaning… Welcome to Wedding.