German artist and 2017 Turner Prize nominee Andrea Büttner (b. 1972) examines depictions of beggars in visual culture in this artist’s book about poverty, art history, theology, and the politics of social benefits.
Büttner, whose work addresses notions of shame, vulnerability, and dignity, presents a recent series of woodcuts, as well research conducted at the Warburg Institute in London, including sixteenth-century vignettes from the Liber Vagatorum and a visual essay on the iconography of shepherds and kings in nativity scenes.
The Liber Vagatorum is also known as The Book of Vagabonds and Beggars: With a Vocabulary of Their Language. Edited by Martin Luther in the Year 1528, it outlines the history of vagabonds and beggars from the Middle Ages.
Published on the occasion of Büttner’s exhibitions at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria (2016), Musée régional d’art contemporain Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée, Sérignan, France (2017), Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Switzerland (2017), and Bergen Kunsthall, Norway (2018).