When the first exhibition took place at Galerie Fred Jahn in 1984, Heinz Butz was no longer a young artist. Born in 1925 in Dillingen on the Danube, he had already taught at the Academy of Visual Arts in Munich since 1967 at the time of the show, and had quietly created a comprehensive oeuvre in his studio. He never sought public recognition or used any strategies of self-promotion.
The start of Heinz Butz’s unique artistic career is based on his reaction to the profound experiences he endured as a young man during he war. Afterwards he was haunted by a deep need for beauty, the “beauty of things”, to be in touch with nature, and was determined to become an artist. In 1947, he joined the Naturforschende Gesellschaft (Association of Natural Science) in Augsburg, which dealt with the sociology and systems of plants. He subsequently attended the art school in Augsburg, and from 1950, the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. As a result, his interest in drawing from nature expanded to include life drawing, building the double foundation on which his work is essentially based. In 1983, he became a professor at the academy in Munich, and in 1995, he became a member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts. He lives and works in Munich.
In an interview, Heinz Butz explained that he saw his journey as part of the understanding of his own being and had been guided by an insight from Aristotle’s metaphysics not to look beyond a particular phenomenon, since the phenomenon itself is the lesson. Moreover, he quoted Thomas Aquinas who posited that real and truthful order lies in things, and that the order of knowledge is derived from them.  “Mimicry, perception, and utilisation” form a harmony for Heinz Butz, which he traces in all his work. He refers to philosophical and theological texts often, and makes it clear that he positions his role as an artist within this “ordering process”.
Through the constant, detailed observation of plants and bodies Heinz Butz garnered extensive visual experience. The line materialized as a pictorial method that defined his work. Initially still tied to the object, by the beginning of the sixties, he had moved away from copying nature, and his work became non-representational. Within this process, he removed the line from its familiar environment, set it free, and allowed an autonomous form to emerge. Like Kandinsky, he added dots, surfaces, bodies, and movements and developed a vocabulary of forms with which he could – in the same way as a musical composition – express and represent everything.
In the sixties, Heinz Butz produced not only drawings but also objects, the latter of which received almost no recognition at that time. However, their art historical significance changed with a large-scale presentation of his work in the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in 2015. The objects, which are shown alongside early canvases in the current exhibition at Galerie Jahn und Jahn, are characterized by a meditative sense of calm. Underlying each of these pieces is a radical reduction of the composition to elementary phenomena of perception. In his objects, as in his drawings, Heinz Butz works with qualitative categories of universal perception, such as up/down, right/left, straight/bent, stretched/contracted, dot/line, surface/space. Starting from a specific problem, he usually works on a small scale with simple materials and geometric-concrete forms, creating perfect proportions and compositional harmony through precise artistic interventions. Their coloring, sometimes muted, sometimes powerful, is closely attuned to their subject matter. They are confusing objects, to some extent ambiguous and erotic, with a fetishistic aura that produces a remarkably strong sensuality. In their simplicity and silence they nevertheless withdraw from everyday life and assert themselves as pure phenomenon.
 Christiane Hoffmans, Die Ordnung der Dinge, 2016 Dusseldorf