Whitechapel Gallery

Andrea Buttner

01 - 10 Apr 2011

© Andrea Buttner
Max Mara Art Prize for Women:
The Poverty of Riches
1 - 10 April 2011

Andrea Büttner explores unexpected parallels between the ethos of certain religious communities and the making and reception of art. This exhibition showcases new work by the winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, inspired by her residency in Italy where she lived alongside orders of nuns, viewed Giotto’s frescoes and studied 20th century works from the Maramotti Collection by artists such as Alberto Burri, Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni.

With simple benches for the visitor to sit on and reflect, this exhibition comprises woodcuts which depict Christian iconography such as a loaf of bread, or a table and the figure of 13th century Catholic mystic St. Francis, founder of the Franciscan order. Alongside this traditional imagery, everyday textiles from the uniforms of park wardens, policemen and refuse collectors create colourful ‘paintings’ that form part of the artist’s exploration of the symbolic use of fabric in both Italian religious art as well as in its contemporary secular forms.

The Max Mara Art Prize for Women promotes and nurtures female artists based in the UK, enabling artists to develop their potential by producing new works of art during a six month residency in Italy. The judges included Iwona Blazwick (Chair), artist Fiona Banner; gallerist Alison Jacques; art collector Valeria Napoleone; and curator Polly Staple.

Tags: Fiona Banner, Alberto Burri, Andrea Büttner, Enrico Castellani, Piero Manzoni