Karin Apollonia Müller

The Gate

October 25 - January 5, 2012

We are pleased to announce our third solo exhibition of Karin Apollonia Müller’s new series entitled “The Gate”. Müller’s subtle and probing sensibility is revealed at its most enigmatic in this series of color photographs made in the Northern California wilds. The individual images that record the rugged and somewhat barren landscape are loosely combined to create a mysterious narrative. Rocks, trees, and landscape abstractions mediate between earth and sky, beauty and danger.

Müller has cited Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Transcendalist musings on the Spirit (Seele) as addressing the same issues she contemplated in formulating these images. She has applied his questioning of “What is matter? Whence is it? and Whereto” to her observations of nature and made them the metaphysical demarcations between nature and culture. The opening image of a cat becomes a symbol for an entity that straddles both worlds—the known and the unknown, shadow and light, life and death. “The Gate” explores this node between cultural understanding and the uncertain and alluring unknown of the wilderness.

Müller has created many discrete bodies of work including her first major project on urban Los Angeles recorded in the monograph “Angels in Fall.” She has continued to work in her partially adopted city and her second monograph “On Edge” depicts the conflict between the urban encroaching on nature. The presence of the human figure has almost disappeared in her work. Any man made or cultural reference seems to be deliberately placed in the image as a reminder that there are living creatures on the planet. Müller has always worked with a distinctive muted palette and low contrast. She has now introduced the use of negative images, which adds to the sense of dislocation. Her vision is increasingly distilled into a new symbolic language.

Müller lives between Germany and the United States and her work is represented in many museums including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum and the George Eastman House in New York, the LA County Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She studied at the famed University GHS in Essen and received her MFA in 1992 followed by a 1995 DAAD award, which first brought her to Los Angeles. Her work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, and Blind Spot.

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