As a German with many artistic links to Germany it is ironic that Thomas, already highly respected in his home country, was introduced to me by Andrew Hewish, the founder of the London C4RD, at Drawing Now Paris in, where the Centre Pompidou bought Thomas’ first set of drawings that year. Early gallery positions had evolved around abstract geometric works, so Thomas experimental and gestural drawings were a leap of faith. A leap that was fertile in many ways and important in opening up the gallery’s program. Thomas’ dedication to drawing has few comparisons. His oeuvre is a complete universe of its own, incredibly free yet clearly distinguishable, always in balance though continually expanding.
For Thomas Müller drawing is an endless field of experimentation. His delicate, abstract structures are autonomous compositions and at the same time jigsaw pieces of a larger entity. In many cases they trespass the picture plane and connect with neighbouring formations. Dynamic lines in pencil or ballpoint pen that resemble macroscopic details of a gigantic wave, or extremely reduced compositions with just a few markings, express a yearning for complementary structures. Whether minimalistic in composition, free in their mark making or even chaotic, whether purely intuitive or built up in a more structured and purposeful manner, Müller’s drawings all relate at some point. The artist often presents rows of A4 drawings hung in open grid formations to additionally stimulate these liaisons and to conclude and counterbalance a drawing process that he had started elsewhere.
The unfinished, the processual and the experimental are pivotal in Müller’s work. Apart from the image carrier – he works exclusively on paper – nothing is presupposed. The drawings don’t develop after precast components but in the most literal sense: out of the void, usually leaving a degree of empty space, never centralized in the composition. Also in terms of materials, Müller constantly tests the boundaries of the medium he works with. He applies pencil, ink, crayon, oil, stylus and chalk and also merges individual parts in collages to create new compositions. This candour guarantees that Müller’s oeuvre stays fresh and always develops further, surprises and touches anew.
Despite the diversity and a constant pushing of boundaries an overall equilibrium prevails. Müller’s oeuvre is a reflection of our world, its different forms, structures and energetic fields that are being invented and repeated or stay fixed at the base of our universe. Müller is one of the few artists who manages to capture the essence of drawing and its metaphysical meaning in the most condensed and explorative way.
Thomas Müller’s works entered important museum collections such as the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett Dresden, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Szépmüvészeti Múzeum - Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest and ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie | Museum für Neue Kunst Karlsruhe amongst others.
Exhibitions at the gallery:
allele, 2019 (solo show)
Different Lines, 2015 (solo show)
Touching, Relating, Dividing, 2012 (solo show)
Recent Drawings, 2009 (solo show)
Untitled (PH 513)
Ballpoint pen on Fabriano paper
196 x 140 cm
Untitled (PH 507)
Pencil, silver coloured pencil, acrylic and oil on Fabriano paper
196 x 140 cm
Pencil, Indian ink, acrylic on Arches paper
160 x 115 cm
Untitled (PH 468)
pencil, coloured pencil, chalk, acrylic on paper
29.7 x 21 cm