Stephen Mueller: Orchidaceous
205 Hudson Gallery
205 Hudson Street
New York, NY
September 13 – October 28
Opening Reception: September 13, 6-8pm
Stephen Mueller: Orchidaceous presents a rare look into the late painter’s oeuvre during a period of rigorous creative transformation. The exhibition traces Mueller’s formal and conceptual evolution from his high-octane, impetuous gestural work from the late 1980s to the spatial complexity, exquisite color and sensuous facture of his late paintings. With over 40 paintings and works on paper, this will be the artist’s most comprehensive exhibition to date.
Stephen Mueller (1947–2011) was part of a loose-knit group of New York-based artists—including Mary Heilmann, Jonathan Lasker, Elizabeth Murray, Thomas Nozkowski, David Reed, Pat Steir, Gary Stephan and others—who transformed and reenergized American abstract painting during the late 1970s and 1980s. Building on the tenets of Color Field painting, Mueller’s subtle, luminous images anticipate many of the concerns of contemporary painting. The work overflows with visual puns and associations through sophisticated re-combinations of Asian iconography, cartoons, encyclopedic decorative traditions, new-age sensibility, and electric, synthetic color. Through his endlessly innovative use of acrylic paint, his canvases become portals into radiant space. The trajectory of Mueller’s work reveals an artist deeply committed to inventing his own articulation of the spiritual—an impulse that has particular appeal and resonance for painters working today.
Curated by Carrie Moyer and Sarah Watson with Agnes Gund Curatorial Fellows Evan Bellatone and Sophia Ma and Hunter MA and MFA students enrolled in the Advanced Curatorial Certificate