Otto MuellerGerman, 1874–1930
Starr Figura, German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 2011
Painter, printmaker. Apprenticed as a lithographer; in 1894 moved to Dresden to study painting. In 1908 settled in Berlin. Exhibited with Brücke in September 1910 as a guest; joined group shortly thereafter. Integrated expressionist approaches of flattening and distorting space into his sylvan scenes of idyllic bathers and nudes, a theme to which he was almost exclusively devoted throughout his career. Remained close with Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Erich Heckel after Brücke dissolved in 1913. Joined war effort in 1916, serving first with infantry on the front, then as draftsman with a zeppelin unit in Berlin. Hospitalized in 1917 with pulmonary problems from which he never fully recovered. In 1919 appointed professor at the Breslau Academy of Art, a position he held until his death.
Expanded his subject matter in 1920s with idealized scenes of gypsy life based on his extensive travels through the Balkans.
Of his 172 prints, all were lithographs aside from one etching and six woodcuts, five of which he made in 1912 under the Brücke's influence. Until 1919 printed his lithographs by hand in small editions and repeatedly used the same, distinctive stone; thereafter took advantage of the printmaking facilities run by Georg Lange at the Breslau Academy.
Posthumously declared degenerate by the Nazis, who removed 357 works from German museums.
Karsch, Florian. Otto Mueller zum hundertsten Geburtstag: Das graphische Gesamtwerk. Exh. cat. Berlin: Galerie Nierendorf, 1974.
Moeller, Magdalena M., ed. Auf der Suche nach dem Ursprünglichen: Mensch und Natur im Werk von Otto Mueller. Exh. cat. Berlin: Brücke-Museum, 2004.