JOSEF FELIX MÜLLER
Although he was internationally acclaimed for his gigantic, sexually explicit paintings of the early 80s, Josef Felix Müller (°1955. Eggersriet, Switzerland) almost exclusively devoted himself a few years later to a kind of neo-expressionist sculpture. Even if from time to time the sculptures were completely or partially coloured with paint. At that time Müller was very much engaged with the material from which he carved his sculptures. To him cutting in a trunk, or rather in a tree, equalled cutting an organism, a body. To cut a tree with the chain saw, meant to him to mutilate the tree. “Working like that matched the theme of the human vulnerability”, he stated.
In the 90s Müller gradually again evolved back to painting. But even in his paintings of the 90s, the link with the body was never far away. As a sculptor Müller had seen an analogy between working in wood and the vulnerable human body. And as a painter Müller saw an analogy between the painted canvas and the skin of the body. And even at the beginning of the new century, when he exclusively concentrated on painting, Josef Felix Müller kept accentuating the sculptural dimensions of his paintings, as for example in the series of paintings of the Alps he made in 2000-2002: “Mountains are gigantic sculptures.”
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Apart from numerous gallery shows across the world, Josef Felix Müller had his most important solo exhibitions so far at Kunsthaus Zürich (1981), Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Neue Galerie Sammlung Ludwig, Aachen, Städtische Galerie, Erlangen, Museum Sainte-Croix, Poitiers, Niederösterreichisches Landesmuseum, Vienna (1985), Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna (1987), Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Kunstverein Ludwigsburg, daadgalerie, Berlin (1991), Kunstmuseum Sankt Gallen (1992), Kunstverein Frankfurt (1993), Museum zu Allerheiligen Schaffhausen, Städtisches Kunstmuseum Reutlingen (1995), Kunsthalle Giessen (1996), Kunstverein Ingolstadt, Kunstverein Göttingen (1997), Skulpturenhalle Basel (1997), Ausstellungshalle Kraft, Basel (2000, 2002) and Neue Kunsthalle Sankt Gallen (2006).
Josef Felix Müller made no less than six solo shows for Deweer Gallery: in 1987, 1990 (‘Fleisch’), 1994, 1999 (‘Farbe für das Volk’), 2002 (‘Alpen’) and in 2009 (‘Spiegelung + Eiswasser’). Further the lithography ‚Birkenwald‘ (Birch Forest) was included in Deweer Art Gallery’s portfolio ‚ECLiPS‘ (2004) and his carpet ‘Birkenwald IV’ was produced for Deweer Gallery’s Art Of The Loom tapestries collection in 2010.
Since many years Josef Felix Müller is also an excellent artist of graphics and a highly respected independent editor of artists’ books.
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