Stephen Mueller

Stephen Mueller was a painter and teacher who lived and worked in New York City. He received a BFA from the University of Texas (1969) and a MA from Bennington College (1971) He has had over thirty one man shows in the United States, Europe and Asia. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow (2000) and has received many other awards. His work has been included in two Whitney Biennials (1987, 1995). In the past several years he has received a NYFA fellowship (2004), had a one-person show at Baumgartner Gallery (2006, New York) and a mid-career survey exhibition at the Joslyn Art Museum (2003, Omaha, Nebraska). In 2005 he received a Francis Greenburger Prize. He has also taught at Harvard, Princeton, NYU, SVA, School of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) and RISD. His abstract paintings focus on color in a physical as well as a symbolic way. They are influenced by Asian art and everyday experience filtered through an essentially romantic sensibility. Making vivid use of the vernacular of technological visuals (the pixel, contrasting, even vibrating color, pattern and simplified form) as well as the atmospheric and emotionally evocative color and tonality of the Romantic era Mueller presents his emblems, symbols, plays on heraldic forms, sci-fi logos, and shields. The narrative of the paintings is one of flux or a moment in the process of continuous change. Using figure ground ambiguity and skewed symmetry, the work calls into question traditional modes of perception and notions of beauty and space. Mueller’s nature based abstractions are emblematic two-dimensional toys for adults and offers personal and playful reassurance in a time of social melancholy. His most recent exhibitions were at Nature Morte Gallery, Berlin (2009), Otto Zoo Inc., Milan (2009-10) and Lennon-Weinberg, New York (2010)

His work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum and the Denver and Portland museums, among others.