until 07.11.| #2879ARTatBerlin | Galerie Thomas Schulte presents from 17th October 2020 the second phase of the solo show of the artist Michael Müller, which consists of two parts: The exhibition “Aesthetic Judgement and Selflessness” follows as the second part of the previous exhibition “Anton im Bastrock” (>Anton in a raffia skirt) as well as the installation “Bikini on Mars” in the corner space of the gallery. The second phase, “Aesthetic Judgement and Selflessness”, will begin after a 10-day break on 17 October and will be shown until 7 November 2020.
After the first part of his solo presentation at Galerie Thomas Schulte this autumn, which opened as part of Gallery Weekend Berlin 2020, Michael Müller in this second part approaches his own work as curator. Under the title Aesthetic Judgement and Selflessness the artist takes the theme of abstraction one step further. By staging a second version of the exhibition, Michael Müller as curator distances himself from Michael Müller as painter and thus also from his own self-commissioned works. Furthermore, a second version of the exhibition opens up the possibility of self-correction. Different versions and points of view create a situation of comparison. Aesthetic decisions can be found to be „right“ or „wrong“ and thus an aesthetic judgment can be made.
The first thing you notice about this second version of the exhibition compared to the first is its reduced, concentrated form. Nearly all elements of installation have been removed from the space and the paintings are each given their own space on the walls. The large abstract paintings, for example, which under the title „Mental Driftwoods“ had been fitted into the window frames of the Corner Space and installed as paintings for the urban space, have been freed from their subjugation as parts of the site-specific installation, and—released from their merger with the architecture—have been strengthened in their autonomy. Each of the paintings is given its own place inside the gallery.
The question of autonomy is also addressed by the new hanging in the Window Space. Here, Müller shows two diptychs from the series „Entangled Works.” The relationship between the works is already evident in the titles of the works: There is a Rainbow Behind the Hills #1 (Healing Landscape) (2019/20) is a two-part abstract painting in pastel yellow, turquoise blue, light violet and wine red, painted on raw canvas and behind glass. The second diptych, entitled There is a Rainbow Behind the Hills #2 (Nachhall) (2020), consists of two monochrome canvases in the shape of two equal triangles.
Each of the triangles refers to one of the two parts of the “behind-glass” diptych: The specific shade of color of the one triangle results from an even mixture of the four colors in which the diptych is painted. The color of the second triangle is likewise a mixture of the four colors. Here, however, the proportion of each color in the mixed hue corresponds to its quantitative use in the painting. Although both diptychs are closely „entangled“ in this
way, their relationship is not visible at first glance. As works they are selfsufficient, but their autonomy is only apparent.
Müller symbolically approaches the second major theme of the exhibition, „selflessness,“ with the help of the installation of a physical threshold. Müller sees the crossing of a threshold as inherent in both the creative act and the reception of art. Thus, Müller describes as part of the creative process the build-up of an inner pressure—nourished by aesthetic considerations of form and color as well as an emotional mixture of fear and lust—that accumulates and finally finds its release on the canvas. The first action—the first brushstroke—marks the crossing of a threshold and requires planning, determination and sense of purpose. Thinking of the artist as the driving force and engine of the creative process, the painter soon, however, encounters a paradox when confronted with the question of when a painting is „finished“. The answer often only becomes evident in the transgression, when a brushstroke has already been „too much“. Thus, only the painting itself seems to be able to assert its own „perfection“.
The title of the large-format diptych No. 3 & 4, The shoulder on which to bear time (2019/20), is indicative of Müller‘s understanding of the role of the artist in the painting process. According to Müller, a picture goes through various „life phases“ such as childhood, youth and maturity. The painter is responsible for the temporal duration of these different stages of a painting, but he is relieved of this responsibility once the painting is complete.
Although painting begins with the pictorial idea and inner desire of the artist, the picture is actually only finished once it has become alien to him; once it is no longer „his“ but has become „the“ picture. This selflessness also gives the painting its potency for the future: Since every future beholder will see the painting differently, subjectively, with different expectations and differing levels of prior knowledge, by „being seen“ the picture will be produced anew, again and again.
Michael Müller, born 1970 in Ingelheim am Rhein, is a conceptual artist whose manifold, proliferating oeuvre cannot be ascribed to any oneway interpretation. He continuously broadens the methods of his artistic expression, combining works on paper with painting, textbased work, sculpture, found objects, music, and performance, and has even developed a cosmetic line and fashion collection. In 2018, he was nominated for the Prize of the Böttcherstraße at Kunsthalle Bremen. Important solo exhibitions include Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (2016/17) and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2015/16).
Soft opening: Saturday, 17th October 2020
Exhibition period: Saturday, 17th October – Saturday, 7th November 2020To the Gallery
Exhibition Michael Müller – Galerie Thomas Schulte | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin