Claudia & Julia Müller

Dilemma des Sichtbaren

January 12 - February 16, 2008

Galerie Peter Kilchmann is pleased to announce the fourth solo exhibition of Swiss artists

Claudia & Julia Müller. They will show a complex installation as well as new objects, drawings

and collages.

Claudia & Julia Müllerʼs wall paintings, installations and paper and video works deal with

cultural forms of representation, mainly in the context of everyday life, popular culture and

history. The exhibited works in the broadest sense pick out the phenomenon of the puzzle

picture (Vexierbild) and the perception process itself as a central theme. A large wall painting is

the focus of the exhibition. It whisks us away into a dreary and anthropomorphically painted

landscape. Human sense organs such as ears and eyes can be discovered within the brush.

With the representation of the forest as a setting, the artists do not only quote an inexhaustible

motif from the history of art, but also emphasize its symbolism, as well as ambivalent

meanings, narrations and emotional associations. A closer look at the ostensively and correctly

constructed scenery turns out to be an illusionary space. At the out bounding verges of the

forest landscape, two metal objects, composed in a minimal style, are visible on the left and on

the right hand side. They form an abstract counterpoint with the figurative mode of


To complement their installation, the artists have mainly created watercolour, pencil drawings,

and collages, which contain photography cut-outs and snippets from magazines. The drawings

of the exhibition point up their serial way of working on one hand and examine the puzzle

picture as a visual phenomenon on the other hand. In one of the pencil drawings, a rocky

mountain landscape takes up the entire space on the paper. A manʼs wrinkly face is visible on

the rock and other faces can be made out between the crevices. This piece of art shows us

how we seem to be able to identify faces wherever we look. Based on congenital processes of

perception and learning processes, we constantly complement whatever is exposed to our

eyes. The same applies to the recognition of faces.

Motifs of masks, fancy dresses and role-plays are recurring themes within the works of Claudia

& Julia Müller. The artists constantly invent new forms and interpret them in a humorous and

playful way. Two paper masks hanging on the wall are new objects that consist of a white

silhouette and a black one on top of it. Their shapes remind one of a mixture of popular culture

and the so-called Wired Folk Art. The masks are another example for the interpretation of the

puzzled picture: The observer dithers between ornament and mask, black and white, figuration

and abstraction.

Claudia (*1964) & Julia (*1965) Müller live and work in Basel. Since the middle of the nineties,

they have exhibited their works throughout Europe. In 2008, they will present a solo exhibition

at the Kunstverein Bonn. For the next year an artist book is in planning, which will appear in cooperation

with Christoph Keller at JRP/Ringier.