Karin Apollonia Müller

Born, Germany, 1963

Karin Apollonia Müller studied design, photography, and film at the University of Essen where she received a Masters degree with honors in photography in 1992. Since 1995, she has lived in the Western U.S. and Europe, teaching and participating in residencies in China, New Mexico, Italy, and Germany, as well as winning numerous awards.

Müller's first completely realized body of work and monograph, entitled Angels in Fall (1995-1998), is a series of large scale color photographs of urban Los Angeles and Western oceanside landscapes. These quiet observations investigate the space where people and urban structures coincide with nature. Her powerful photographs are low in contrast with muted palettes which Müller believes "evoke things which are beyond visible." By subtly positioning the human figure, actual or implied, within a complex landscape, Müller evokes a profound sense of displacement in her photographs. These evocative compositions possess a haunting potency. As a foreigner, Müller expresses her "visitor" status in Los Angeles with a sense of alienation and beauty. The artist's interest in the intersection of the natural landscape with urbanization, evident her project Bunkerscapes (2003), is a hot topic with environmentalists and city planners. In her hands, these issues transcend any analytic framework, becoming eternal and universal musings.

In 2009, Nazraeli Press published a second monograph by Müller entitled On Edge. The series is inspired by "accidents and incidents, both big and small that disrupt the picture we look at.. I wanted to evoke an elevated level of anxiety, brought on by our witnessing of the systems we've created reaching their breaking points, and the realization that we don't seem to be able to maintain the world we've created for ourselves". She completed her project Timber Cove in the same year, a series that artistically juxtaposes the human connection and opposition to nature. In 2012 Julie Saul Gallery exhibited Müller’s Gate which explores the boundaries between the natural world and cultivated space, as defined by human culture. These atmospheric photographs of the Northern California wilderness become passageways that move between the material and the immaterial, the abstract and the real. The work explores this nexus between cultural understanding and the alluring unknown of the natural world, using an ethereal palette of muted tones and low contrast that invoke the sublime.

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