in: Linie Line Linea, Zeichnung der Gegenwart, (Exh.Cat.), ed. by. Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IFA), DuMont Verlag, Köln 2010
In the mid-1990s Thomas Müller abandoned painting in order to devote himself solely to drawing, a medium more attuned to his fertile intellect and modus operandi. It not only afforded him greater freedom, but also furnished the opportunity of greater interaction between the drawings that were created in parallel, be it their common quest for form or in their contrasting artistic statements. Since this juncture, Müller has developed a body of work that, whilst remaining true to the classic canon of line on paper, has pushed the boundaries of the medium, both in terms of the radicality and of the rigor of his artistic investigations.
Müllerʼs economy of expression spawns a veritable cornucopia of variants and modulations. Shaped by the restrained, yet categorical marks of the pencil, the free, open symbols stand in stark juxtaposition to the exquisitely wrought, all-over texture of a loosely-knit webbing or the precisely stated bundle of lines, whose radial, almost maniacally parallel alignment transforms the surface into the undulating vibrations of a deep, graphite-gray maelstrom, or into the azure-blue vortex of dynamic torsion. All the elements of the image are composed as a cogent entity, and are as abstract as they are substantial—little more than “nets thrown into the sea of the visual.”1
The drawings live from the tension generated between abundance and nothingness, might and tenderness, dynamism and tranquility, coincidence and finality. The sheer breadth of this dialogue corresponds both to the choice of format—everything from small-scale to wall- sized—and to the choice of color—ranging from highly distinctive light-dark contrasts in graphite, chalk, and ink to the powerful luminescence of orange and bright green in acrylic or oils. Oscillating between these poles, and predicated on the desire to experiment and a keenly analytical approach, Thomas Müllerʼs drawings can best be described as investigations, musical scores, rhythmical and lyrical sound.
1 Marilena Pasquali, Lichtspuren, in: Thomas Müller, Opere su carta, Ausst.Kat. Galleria Torbandena, Triest 2001
© Ruth Diehl