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Though he asserts that his artistic practice is about “making nothing happen”, Pavel Büchler produces installations, videos, sculptures, and works on paper that stimulate the mind through keen wit and conceptual rigor. With economy and elegance, Büchler repurposes a range of abandoned objects, including broken pencils, ashtrays, and paint chips, and obsolete technological devices like slide projectors and tape recorders, into visual puns through which he offers new ways of perceiving nature, culture, art, and the everyday.

In ‘New Paintings’, Büchlers’ second solo exhibition at Tommy Simoens, the artists’ idea of “making nothing (new) happen” involves a labour intensive process of remaking other artists’ rejected paintings. The original paintings began with some ambition but something went wrong, the ambition got obliterated by the painter’s own efforts, and it ended in a failure. This failure is where Büchler starts. His aim is to recover the original ambition of the painting and make it his own. This recovery also takes some effort. He must undo all the wasted work that had gone into the painting in the first place. He takes off the paint, cleans the canvas, grinds the paint into dust and then re-applies it back onto the canvas as evenly as he can. After days and weeks of labour, Büchler ends, conceptually speaking, where the original artist had began: with a kind of ‘nothing’.

Other gallery exhibitions & projects