Werner Büttner, Professor of painting
Werner Büttner has been a professor at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg since 1989. Born in 1954 in Jena, he left the GDR along with his parents in 1961, shortly before the building of the Wall, and settled in Munich. He moved to Berlin in 1968, and studied jurisprudence there from 1973 to 1977. He was the co-founder of a number of humorously named organizations, such as the Dum-Dum-Liga-Journal. In 1976, he and Albert Oehlen founded the Liga zur Bekämpfung des widersprüchlichen Verhaltens (the League Against Contradictory Behaviour). In 1979, Büttner took part in the Elend (Misery) group exhibition, organised by Martin Kippenberger in Berlin. In 1980, he, Albert Oehlen and Georg Herold opened a sperm bank for refugees from the GDR and founded the Kirche der Ununterschiedlichkeit (the Church of Non-Differentiation) with Albert and Markus Oehlen in 1981. In the same year, he held his first solo exhibition in the Galerie Max Hetzler in Stuttgart.
In the 1980s, Werner Büttner, along with Albert Oehlen and Martin Kippenberger, was considered one of the so-called Neue Wilden or Junge Wilden painters. This group rejected conceptual art and agitated for the return of painting.
Büttner wrote for the music magazine Sounds and appeared at the 1982 group exhibition Zeitgeist. In the late 1980s and the 1990s, his artworks, like those of the other Neue Wilden, traded at high prices on the art market. In 1984, Werner Büttner was one of 64 artists featured in the art exhibition Von hier aus – Zwei Monate neue deutsche Kunst in Düsseldorf.