In his works, the German-British artist Michael Anthony Müller (*1970) deals with the transfer of his own thought processes into a sensual, aesthetic experience. He does not limit himself to one artistic medium, but moves between painting, drawing, installation and sculpture on the border between meditative conception and excessive expenditure.
image above: Michael Müller, The Given Day, 2022, © art/beats, Robert Schittko, Courtesy Studio Michael Müller
At the centre of the exhibition at the Städel Museum is the titular room-filling painting Der geschenkte Tag, which consists of 24 large-format canvases and measures a total of 6 x 65 metres. The work Der geschenkte Tag finds its origin in the ancient Greek myth of the Dioscuri, the twins Kastor and Polydeukes: the inseparable pair of brothers is divided in battle with the death of the mortal Kastor. The immortal Polydeukes begs his father Zeus in grief, willing to give up his own immortality. Touched by this affection, Zeus grants the two brothers a life together. A life torn between the worlds. From then on, the brothers each spend one day in the underworld of Hades, the realm of the dead, and one day in Olympus among the gods. In the exhibition’s prologue, drawings by the artist and a sculpture combined with works from the Städel Museum’s collection introduce the myth. With the group of works “Hades” (2022), which will be shown in the garden halls, Müller also takes visitors into the “underworld” in a figurative sense.
With the means of painting and beyond its limits, Müller thus unfolds a multi-layered artistic reflection on the meaning of time, mortality and supra-temporal love. In doing so, he also weighs up the possibilities of abstraction and asks the crucial question: can an abstract work of art tell a story?
Saturday, 15 October 2022 until Sunday, 19 February 2023
Städel Museum Frankfurt am Main
60596 Frankfurt am Main