Schlendern im Verweilen
Independently from the daily business of what Max Horkheimer once called cultural industry, Stefan Müller is an artist who follows his own timeline. Far from claiming a sovereign position, this mirrors the difficult survival of the weak and unfinished, descending and resurfacing in the maelstrom of medialization that today encompasses all aspects of life. The apparent openness of media society subjects everything to calculation. How many clicks, how many users, how many followers? After improvisation became exploitable through youtube and Instagram, improvised biographies beyond the mainstream are devaluated. The title of this exhibition Strolling in Lingering is a contradiction in itself, yet a contradiction with gentle means. Müller confronts the hard facts of the consumer world which cause him to doubt with soft tones. He does not improvise for money, but out of self-defense. Often times he seems to treat his fabrics and materials in a lapidary and destructive way, for instance when he spreads his batik colored canvases on the studio floor and walks on them while working. He later treats his so soiled fabrics with paint and subtle applications of colorful waste. In Strolling in Lingering Müller, besides neon colors and neon colored shreds, uses so called interfering colors, that change depending on the lighting similar to nacre. Like in earlier paintings he combines the seemingly precious with the seemingly poor, yet in a non-programmatic way: These are simply his means of painting, that he has been consistently developing with dedication and against all odds since the beginning of his career. In the lightness of his new works lies their force. It is directed against the exclusion of the abject.