Since the early 1990s, Claudia and Julia Müller have incorporated a variety of different sources into their diverse works—ranging from autobiographical elements to entirely abstract forms of expression. In consequence, their approach is multi-layered; their work references strategies of conceptual art as well as narrative forms anchored in the surreal.
Family scenes from their childhood, shadow plays with surreal subjects, or utterly free abstraction continuously define their oeuvre—the artists freely utilise a variety of techniques such as painting, fresco, mosaic, tapestry, ceramic work or screen printing. Technique and the process of creation are important in this respect, i.e: screen printing without film, using dissimilar paper qualities, or creating ceramics with glazes determined by sheer chance.
For their first solo exhibition in Berlin, Claudia and Julia Müller have chosen a photo wallpaper as a way of escape. It shows an enlarged shot of their studio in Basel and appears to expand the rooms of the Fasanenplatz gallery with an effect comparable to “trompe l’œil". Optically puzzling at first, the work provokes the following questions: are real paintings hanging on the walls, or are they merely representations? Is the sofa real or two-dimensional? All this is further intensified with artefacts—picture objects, sculptures, and drawings—that are placed within the room or hang on the walls. Perhaps we are moving within a diorama, in which all the objects and representations exist in unity.
The "artist/studio" theme has been recurring since the Renaissance, when the artist gained a unique position in society and the artist studio became a quasi-auratic space—the place where the phenomenon of art is realised and enters the world. Today’s situation is not all too dissimilar: since the 1960s, gallery spaces have often been experimentally reshaped into artist studios. Thus Claudia and Julia Müller grant us an insight into the universe of their studio; the gallery is transformed into a place where some of their art is created.
Claudia Müller (1964) and Julia Müller (1965) have been working together since 1992. They have exhibited in numerous galleries and museums in Switzerland, Europe and the USA. Their works are represented in private and public collections, e.g. Kunstmuseum Basel, Kunsthaus Zürich, Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.