Wilhelm Müller

(1928 - 1999)

Wilhelm Müller, the only student of Herman Glöckner, was one of the few constructivist artists in the GDR. After he began training as a dentist following World War II and completed his doctorate in 1956, medicine and art occupied him in equal measure for many years. For this reason, he is remembered by many as an "artist's doctor" and dental materials were often used in his art. Müller first became acquainted with Glöckner in 1963. At this time, his early work was mostly still committed to the object. Time and again, however, he was able to encounter current art developments through trips to the West (for example, at documenta I in Kassel in 1955), which strengthened him in his idea of the informal. After first informal drawings, monotypes and material pictures, which are often also subject to chance, his work develops more and more constructivist. During this period he found support in clarifying pictorial questions from Glöckner. In 1965 Müller developed his first "Constructivist exercises", the division of a rectangle by horizontal, vertical and diagonal, which gives rise to different compositions characterized by clarity and lack of decoration. Surprising are not only the frugality of the drawing means used but also the lack of any emotionality. Even if Wilhelm Müller is close to the internationally emerging Minimal Art in the sparseness of his work, it was, according to his own statements, not poetic enough for him. Manual artistic processing remained important for his work. Despite his extensive involvement with Constructivism, Müller always remained true to Informal until his death. His work is to be classified between both, law and chance. (ED)


born in Harzgerode (Saxony-Anhalt)
1955 - 1979
working as a stomatologist
Continuation of abstract composition studies as action painting
1964 - 1966
Lessons with Hermann Glöckner, Dresden
Start of the elaboration of the "Constructive Exercise"
Start of the car metallic panels
1980 - 1989
scientific assistant at the State Museum of Ethnology
1984 - 1986
"Japanese circus" picture books for Kochi Weiss
final formulation of the "Constructive Exercise".
Resumption of work on the "color surface panels" with newly developed material
Beginning of the work groups "Variations on a Theme by Otto Freundlich" and " Common Sense and Tenderness"
Extension of the "Constructive Exercise"
After years of illness and pain, Wilhelm Müller decided to end his life.