Opening reception: Saturday, February 21, 6–8pm
Blum & Poe is pleased to announce our sixth solo exhibition by Los Angeles based artist Dave Muller.
Being both a departure and a fine-tuning of previous concerns and obsessions, Muller’s latest exhibition, iamthewalrus, steals its title from the John Lennon song. Combining his signature acrylic washes with loose line-rendering on paper to create large scale works, Muller meditates on the development of individual and cultural identities and the sphere or “field” of music that envelops and accompanies them. Visually playing with depictions of spheres and fields, juxtaposed with a variety of disparate images, this new body of work suggests a push and pull between transformation and immanence. To paraphrase John Peel on the band The Fall, “always different, always the same.” Where previous work focused on the physical manifestations of his music based obsessions, he now delves into their origins, making this show perhaps his most autobiographical work to date.
One group of works on paper is installed on the walls like so many abstract dominoes. At least one piece rests flat on the floor, occupying your space (and hopefully, your time). Within each of these pieces two seemingly unrelated images clash and cavort. Muller’s combinations of fleshed out renderings of cows in farmer’s fields with line sketches of scattered record collections, or erupted ab-ex fields with a loose sketch of a poised-to-pop puffer fish, lead us to consider how things explode into other things, explore their latticed connections, follow their genealogies.
Another series of large works on paper depict chaotic spreads of shredded paper. On closer inspection the cohesive fields are rendered fragments of the Sgt. Pepper album in one case, or Muller’s personal documents in another. Muller suggests the border constructed between popular culture and the private self is more Swiss cheese than corten steel. This stance is further reinforced by Muller’s drawings of houses (on the block in San Francisco he grew up in) which look like Jetson’s-era robot heads; drawings of John, Paul, George and Ringo as nesting Matryoshka dolls, and a drawing of Muller’s first record purchase; Snoopy and His Friends, the Royal Guardsman.
Dave Muller has shown widely over the last fifteen years. A selection of exhibitions include, I Like Your Music I Love Your Music, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon, Spain; The Sandra and Gerald Fineberg Art Wall, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; Jeremy Deller: Marlon Brando, Pocahontas and Me, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO; Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Panic Room: Works from the Dakis Joanou Collection, The Deste Foundation Centre for Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; 8th Biennale d’Art Contemporain de Lyon 2005, France; and the 2004 Whitney Museum Biennial, New York. In 2002, his exhibition “ Connections ” premiered at the Bard Center for Curatorial Studies in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, and traveled to the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Dave Muller was born in San Francisco and lives and works in Los Angeles.