October 12, 2014

MODERN ART & DESIGN AUCTION

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Lot 440: Dave Muller

Lot 440: Dave Muller

I Couldn't Find a Single Pedestal Chair at the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien

1996
Pencil and acrylic on paper
Image/sheet: 40" x 28";
Frame: 44" x 32"
Provenance: Private Collection, United States (acquired directly from the artist, 1996)
Exhibited: "Stream of Consciousness: 8 Los Angeles Artists," University Art Museum, UC Santa Barbara, September 8-November 10, 1996; "Dave Muller: Connections," traveling exhibition, Center for Curatorial Studies Museum, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, June 23-September 8, 2002; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, October 6, 2002-January 5, 2003
Illustrated: Cruz, Amanda, and Matthew Higgs. Dave Muller: Connections. Exhibition Catalogue. Annandale-on-Hudson: Center for Curatorial Studies, 2002. pp 13, 31, #8.
Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000
Inventory Id: 16440

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Wry, idiosyncratic, and slyly philosophical, Los Angeles-based artist Dave Muller (b. 1964) is best known for acrylic-and-ink works on paper that explore the transformative nature of our experience of art and artists. Born in San Francisco, he earned a B.A. in chemistry and art at the University of California at Davis, and an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia.

Muller is fascinated by the graphic ephemera associated with both high and popular culture: art gallery announcements, invitations, promotional posters, vinyl LP album covers, book jackets, and newspaper comic strips. In 1994, Muller began painting stylized watercolor announcements for gallery exhibitions of fellow L.A. artists, as well as posters for "Three Day Weekends": art happenings he hosted regularly, until 2000, in neighborhood venues. Muller later extended the gallery announcement concept to re-imagined exhibitions by canonical artists. In 1999 he produced a group of promotional pieces for a Jackson Pollock retrospective; in 2000, a set of mock posters for a show of Andy Warhol's Oxidation paintings.

The present lot, I Couldn't Find a Single Pedestal Chair at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, marks an important step in the broadening of Muller's milieu beyond California. Muller created the work shortly after his art was first shown internationally, at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. The source material is a late 1950s marketing placard by Swiss graphic designer Herbert Matter for the furniture maker Knoll, Inc. Next to Matter's slab-serif "K" logo, Muller inserts a small "B" for Bethanien. Through this gesture, the poster has come out of the confines of the showroom and has entered the art world at large. Muller's work can be found in the collections of numerous museums, including the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Hammer Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

"Dave Muller: Connections." The Hammer Museum. University of California at Los Angeles, 6 Oct. 2002. Web. 27 Aug. 2014.
"Dave Muller: Biography." Collection Online. Guggenheim Museum, New York, n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2014."2004 Biennial." The Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 2004. Web.
Myers, Julian. "Dave Muller." Frieze Magazine. N.p., Mar. 2005. Web. 27 Aug. 2014.
Godfrey, Mark. "Dave Muller." Frieze Magazine. N.p., Mar. 2001. Web. 27 Aug. 2014.
"Herbert Matter." The Collection. Museum of Modern Art, New York, n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2014.

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