Ulrike Müller’s edition Rug (gato verde) was realized on the occasion of an exhibition that took place at mumok – Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien in 2015–16: The artist’s first solo exhibition at a museum, The old expressions are with us always and there are always others.
In her work, Ulrike Müller (born 1971 in Brixlegg, Tirol, lives in New York) explores the relationships between abstraction and bodies and a concept of painting that is not restricted to brush and canvas. The geometrical figures and color surfaces in her compositions are never “purely” abstract. They carry erotic and sexual associations; they tease, touch, and penetrate each other without collapsing into binary logic. Müller’s painterly practice is deliberately seeking out mediums and formats that create connections with other realms of life and of production. The artist, for example, has translated her designs into textile objects like quilts and rugs.
The rugs, which can be displayed on both the floor and the wall, are woven according to the artist’s designs by weavers in Oaxaca, Mexico. The wool that is used is traditionally dyed with natural colors. Weaving in Oaxaca has a long Zapotec tradition, whose presence is visible to this day in textile patterns.
The silhouette of the cat with its “blank” eyes is an absent opposite, a positive negative, an occupied vacancy. Its figure is literally interwoven with rectangular elements and performs a complex maneuver between inside and outside, familiar and strange, domesticated and undisciplined.
Müller studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria, and participated in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York. Recently, she took part in the 78th edition of the Whitney Biennial, New York (March 17–June 11, 2017). Müller’s work is currently on view in the exhibition Container Contained at Galerie Meyer Kainer (March 15–April 13, 2019). Moreover, she will participate in May You Live in Interesting Times, the 58th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, curated by Ralph Rugoff, May 11–November 24, 2019.
Rug (gato verde), 2015
Wool, handwoven in the workshop of Jerónimo and Josefina Hernández Ruiz, Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico
app. 63.8 x 48‘‘
Signed and numbered
Edition: 7 + 3 AP