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Otto Müller ~ Expressionist painter

The Die Brücke Group, The Bridge, was a group of german expressionist artists formed in Dresden in 1905, after which the Brücke Museum in Berlin was named. Founding members were Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Later members were Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein and Otto Mueller.
The seminal group had a major impact on the evolution of modern art in the 20th century and the creation of Expressionism. Die Brücke is sometimes compared to the Fauves. Both movements shared interests in primitivist art. Both shared an interest in the expressing of extreme emotion through high-keyed color that was very often non-naturalistic. Both movements employed a drawing technique that was crude, and both groups shared an antipathy to complete abstraction. The Die Brücke artists' emotionally agitated paintings of city streets and sexually charged events transpiring in country settings make their french counterparts, the Fauves, seem tame by comparison.

Otto Müller [1874-1930] was born in Silesia, Poland. He began his training at age sixteen in a four-year apprenticeship to a lithographer in Gorlitz. In 1894 he enrolled at the Academy of Art in Dresden, where he studied for two years. Müller remained near Dresden until 1908, but did not meet any of the artists affiliated with the Brucke until 1910, two years after his move to Berlin. It was then, after having his work rejected for inclusion in the Berlin Secession exhibition, that he joined Emil Nolde and Max Pechstein in founding the Neue Secession. These artists, along with other members of the Brucke, exhibited their work in an alternative exhibition, "Rejects of the Berlin Secession". Müller's images of nudes in nature, for which he is best known, caught the attention of the Brucke artists. He was invited to join the group, and he remained affiliated until its dissolution in 1913. Mueller served in the military for one year during World War I and was hospitalized briefly in 1917. Unlike that of other Brucke artists, his imagery seems not to have been affected by his wartime experience; his post-war work differs little from that made before the war. In 1919 Müller began teaching at the Breslau Academy and continued there until his death. He traveled extensively in Eastern Europe during the 1920s and his art of the period reflects his fascination with the region's gypsy culture. Müller's interest in printmaking was primarily in lithography.

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