The Creatures of Dreams

An exhibition of Owe Büttner's paintings in Art & Design Gallery at Viru Centre, opened up to the 20th of September 2005.

The crown jewel of this exhibition is Owe Büttner's latest series of paintings, "The Creatures Go to the Holy Top". He is, above all, a colourist and colour is the main theme of his pictures that unconventionally refer to the historical and biblical thematics. But not in the way colour was for the major part of the art of painting, now turned into the twentieth century classic. Büttner is interested in the mystical charge of colours and the ways they influence human mind - not in pure form, but in the flow created by the movement of the hand, in all their richness. "The Creatures...", whose species are hard to define - but you notice that they are dynamic, bright, as if agitated and somehow fluffy - sticking together move towards the inside of the painting. Some high building that might remind of historicist castle is as if visible against the background. The idea of the paintings lies in the associativity that underlines the personal meaning of the message and, proceeding from that, freedom for its recipient. When a group of bright creatures hurries by you in a dream, then you have no time to think, who they are - most of dream images are and remain hazy, if only subconsciousness does not remind you several times that you are dealing with certain creature(s); in that case, the message is already creature-centred. For Büttner, the meaning is rather related to the landscape and castle, the latter still being, however, distant and not easily identifiable. Let us recall that in subconsciousness time flows calmly and you cannot rush ahead your thoughts, you just have to wait for their arrival. It only makes sense to look at Büttner's painting with the same calmness, you wait for the beginning of a dream after going to bed.
But the landscape itself is the purist image of those calm thoughts and beautiful dreams. Only a few see so many shades of green - and all of them warm and agreeable. The quadripartite series of paintings is completely sustained in this summer green, which unbelievable gentleness is comparable to the colours of nature itself. The first and the third picture in the series, "The Creatures Go to the Holy Top" and "The Middle Ages", are more dynamic, containing restlessness that is expressed by obscure inrush of darkness. The second and the forth painting, "Tricolour" and "Ancient Landscape", are, on the other hand, the tranquillest manifestations of this contemplative colour experience. Büttner - that is, first and foremost, colour, and only then an idea or a word, meanings and associations that the public can freely generate.