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Stefan Müller, Stretch Your Arms, 2010, oil and marker on canvas, 67 x 55".

Stefan Müller

Galerie Nagel Draxler | Berlin

Stefan Müller, Stretch Your Arms, 2010, oil and marker on canvas, 67 x 55".

Let’s not beat around the bush: Stefan Müller’s “Salon der Daheim-gebliebenen” (Salon for the Ones Who Stayed Home) was a straight-up painting show. And as so often happens when painting starts to get interesting, it was treated here as “material”—both literally, with respect to the “material” of canvas and its preparation, and figuratively, as a self-reflexive “theme,” a set of various basic elements that can be shuffled and interwoven in many different ways.

The process of painting, Müller reminds us, begins already with the various textures of the canvases and materials as well as the way they are stretched on their frames. Often his canvases are stretched loosely, so that they buckle or display kinks or pleats—these imperfections operate as painterly gestures. Sometimes Müller bleaches or dyes his canvases using batik methods, or uses them to wipe his studio floor,

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