Lori Bookstein Fine Art

Faust and Other Tales: The Paintings of Jan Müllerheader

Faust and Other Tales: The Paintings of Jan Müllerheader

untitled (temptation of st anthony) by jan muller

Jan Muller

Untitled (Temptation of St Anthony), ca. 1957

Thursday, May 3, 2012Saturday, June 23, 2012


New York, NY USA

Lori Bookstein Fine Art is pleased to present Faust and Other Tales: The Paintings of Jan Müller. This is the second solo show of Müller's work at Lori Bookstein Fine Art.

This exhibition will focus on the late, monumental works of Jan Müller [1922-58], painted in the final years of his life. The presentation of Müller’s pivotal Faust works- Walpurgisnacht- Faust I (on loan from the Museum of Modern Art), Walpurgisnacht- Faust II, The Chorus of Angels (from the estate of the artist), and The Temptation of St. Anthony (on loan from the Whitney Museum of American Art) - will make the most significant gathering of Jan Müller’s work in over 25 years.

Faust and Other Tales: The Paintings of Jan Müller will focus on the last years of the artist's life. Müller was among the first in the Hofmann school to return to figuration, and he used literary themes as a point of departure. The story of Faust, replete with characters of uncontrolled ambition and moral abandon, was of particular fascination to Müller who was forced to reconcile his impeding mortality at an early age; fitted with a pace-maker at 31, the audible ticking of the mechanism served as impetus for his feverish artistic output. However, Müller was attracted to neither the romantic hero nor the narrative of Faust, but rather his interest lie in the psychology of man and the limitations of formalism in conveying the human condition. Or, as Meyer Schaprio so eloquently states, "the counterparts of the divine and the demonic in anonymous humanity."

Jan Müller was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1922. His father was a political activist who fled from Hitler in the 1930s, emigrating with his family to the U.S. in 1941. Müller studied painting under Hans Hofmann from 1945-50. In 1954, Müller underwent heart surgery during which a plastic pacemaker was implanted. This constant reminder of the passage of time is perhaps, in part, responsible both for the fury with which he painted until his death in 1958 and the urgency with which he made the radical and courageous shift from abstraction to figuration.

Jan Müller’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, The Jewish Museum, and the 1962 Venice Biennale among others. The artist regularly showed with the Hansa gallery, of which he was a founding member, until his untimely death. Lori Bookstein Fine Art, in association with Martha Henry Inc., Fine Art has previously curated an exhibition entitled The Search for the Unicorn: Paintings by Jan Müller and Bob Thompson, an exhibition that was dedicated to both artists’ concerns with allegory, myth, and their alliance in spirit with figurative painting. Lori Bookstein Fine Art is the exclusive representative of the estate of Jan Müller.

Opening Reception
May 3 from 6-8 p.m.

Gallery Hours
Tuesday-Saturday 10:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

For additional information and/or visual materials,
please contact the gallery at
(212) 750-0949 or
info@loribooksteinfineart.com