Michael Buthe

White Painting

1969

In Tate Modern

Artist
Michael Buthe 1944–1994
Original title
Weisses Bild
Medium
Wood, cotton, gesso and steel
Dimensions
Object: 1510 × 2560 × 130 mm
displayed: 1840 × 2680 × 200 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased with funds provided by the Edward and Agnès Lee Acquisition Fund 2016
Reference
T14782

Display caption

It might look like the artist has randomly slashed this canvas. In fact, Buthe carefully composed it. He wanted to create a powerful relationship between the grid of the stretcher and the loose fabric. He used various processes to create this effect. This includes stitching lengths of cloth together and folding, tying, and wrapping sections around and underneath the stretcher bars. This draws attention to the space in front, inside and behind the stretcher. Buthe also painted the wooden stretcher bars white to match the fabric. This helps them be seen as parts of the same idea.

Gallery label, August 2020

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