Josef Felix Müller, ‘Hasen I-XIV’, 1990, Deweer Gallery

“The fourteen ‘Hares’ from 1990, cut in poplar wood, look like oversized exclamation marks. Fourteen square blocks of wood that are more than two metres high, are hung onto the wall at the same height, their sides irregularly cut. The front sides are black, the cutting sides aside are coloured red. From the lower third of each block has been cut a slaughtered and cleaned hare, that hangs down with the beginning of its cut-off neck; its hind legs do not hang free but rest on the block as if they were glued to it. These slim hare bodies, piteous, slaughtered and skinned creatures, are organically linked to the impressive and dominating blocks of wood from which they cannot escape. They are more like monstrous fictions and that is what they are, factually and sculpturally speaking. Helplessly surrendered, they are stuck to the material from which they owe their existence. The theme of the slaughtered corpses is not new in Müller’s work. Simultaneously with the ‘Hares’ Müller created the almost equally high ‘Swivel’ and ‘Rib’ pieces, in which he – with a rare didactic exemplarity – thematised the relation between the inside and the outside. Here he contrasts the outer side of the wood’s skin, that he excavates, with a set of rib flanks of which the intestines have been discarded off, and in doing so he identifies the process of slaughtering, skinning and cleaning of an animal, with the work of the artist who works in wood.” (translated from Hans-Michael Herzog, ‘Häutungen oder Kunst ist eine Form des Überlebens’ in ‘Josef Felix Müller – Schnitt’, daadgalerie, Berlin & Kunsthalle Bielefeld, 1991, p. 30-33)

ECLiPS 25 Jaar / 25th Anniversary Deweer Art Gallery, Deweer Art Gallery, Otegem & Transfo Zwevegem, Belgium, 2004, p. 58-59
Josef Felix Müller – Schnitt, DAAD - daadgalerie Berlin & Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany, 1991, p. 30-31
Josef Felix Müller - Fleisch, Deweer Art Gallery, 1990, p.6-7

About Josef Felix Müller