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Johannes Müller-Franken

Johannes Muller-Franken

Johannes Muller-Franken

“I want to depict things as they are but also as they would be provided that I did not exist.”
– Hippolyte Taine

To express myself as a painter in a realistic manner is an imperative. To paint this way and not in any other is not a choice out of a number of options. For me this way to paint is the only way to solidify the sensual richness of the world’s appearance and I depict phenomena which affect me in a particular way.

I try to get to the bottom of my direct visual perception of reality without any concept and without any aspect of its practical use. This way, I can unlock my emotional relation to it.

I do not intend to paint the world the way it is. Even if I wanted to do so, this would not be possible. The result of the intention to picture the world can always only be a translation of the reality per se. The world that arises from my paintings is indeed very similar to the real world, however, my paintings are not a representation of it. The close similarity though, leads the observer back to his own perception and thus he can perceive his world with an awareness that has changed in the process.

I consider my paintings to be contemporary and although my opus is tied to the pre-modern European artistic tradition of illusionism, I do not intend to return to the past.

The situations I paint are imaginary orchestrations. Their basis is not a personal single glimpse, they represent a sum of disparate sensual experiences which then appear in a new context. To illustrate this new context, all details for my paintings like the stage, the models, their clothes or the requisites are meticulously chosen and composed.

As my compositions, particularly the models, are not available for the entire duration of the painting process which can last for many months, I use a large number of photos which I take myself while I arrange my compositions. Also, the photo ties my illustration to what is observable in reality and thus it functions as the virtual common platform, where the observer of my paintings and I can meet.
ohannes Müller-Franken – Biography

1960
born in Freiburg im Breisgau
1990-92
studying art at the University of Mainz with emphasis first on film (until 1986) and then on painting
Solo exhibitions

1998
Städtische Galerie im Park, Viersen Emslandmuseum Schloss Clemenswerth, Sögel Kunstverein Eisenturm, Mainz
2001
O.K. Harris Works of Art, New York
2009
O.K. Harris Works of Art, New York
Group exhibitions

1986
Galerie Polyprint, Wuppertal
Kunstpreis der Sparkasse Esslingen
“Kunst 86”, Haus der Kunst, München
Kunstpreis Eisenturm, Mainz
1987
Kunstpreis der Sparkasse Esslingen
Kunstpreis der Stadt Alpirsbach
1988
Galerie der Stadt Mainz
1989
Kunstpreis der Sparkasse Karlsruhe Landeskunstausstellung, Rheinisches Landesmuseum Trier
Kunstpreis der Sport Toto GmbH, Koblenz
1990
“Kunst 90”, Haus der Kunst, München
“Trompe l’Oeil heute”, Kunstkreis Hameln
1991
“Kunst 91”, Haus der Kunst, München
“Den Mops verdoppeln? – Realismus heute”, Städtische Galerie im Park, Viersen
Dresdner Bank Zentrale, Frankfurt am Main
1992
Landeskunstausstellung, Mittelrheinisches Landesmuseum Mainz
1993
1. Realismus Triennale, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
1995
“Scharfer Blick – Der Deutsche Künstlerbund in Bonn”,
Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn
1997
“Große Kunstausstellung”, Haus der Kunst, München
“Große Kunstausstellung Nordrhein-Westfalen”, Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf
Galerie Bäumler, Regensburg
1999
Galerie Bäumler, Regensburg
2001
“Visionen des Wirklichen”, Städtische Galerie im Park, Viersen
2002
Chicago Art Fair
2009
M. A. Doran Gallery, Tulsa, Oklahoma
2010
“Realismus – Das Abenteuer der Wirklichkeit”, Kunsthalle Emden
“Realismus – Das Abenteuer der Wirklichkeit”, Kunsthalle der
Hypo-Kulturstiftung, München
“Feest der herkenning – Internationaal realisme”, Kunsthal Rotterdam

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