Paintings and Drawings from the 80’s
curated by Bjarne Melgaard
Rod Bianco Gallery, Oslo
Rod Bianco Gallery, Oslo, presents the inaugural exhibition in its new Oslo space: Otto Muehl: Paintings and Drawings from the 80’s, curated by Bjarne Melgaard.
Austrian artist Otto Muehl was a co-founder of and participant in Viennese Actionism and the founder of the Friedrichshof Commune outside Vienna. From 1968 on, Muehl developed a form of masterly amateurish painting. He thus numbers, along with Picabia, among those whose work prefigures contemporary “bad painting.” The heterodox, vulgar, and banal character of these works doubtless records a “moment of rebellion” and a “different habitus,” pointing, on the one hand, to Muehl’s actionistic call for a demolition of panel painting itself, and, on the other, to an attempt at a re-evaluation of art’s terms in the actionist- analytical commune he founded. The works shown at Rod Bianco were created between 1980 and 1985. About ten years prior to that, Muehl withdrew from the art scene altogether – after the scandal of his appearance at Harald Szeemann’s exhibition “Happening & Fluxus” at the Kunstverein Cologne and the simultaneous International Cologne Kunstmarkt, which branded him once and for all the “bad boy” of the art world – and retreated to his own commune. In a series painted in 1983, he refers to these events with sarcasm and irony.