Karl Peter Muller, born November 28th 1935 in Mannheim-Käfertal passed away in August 2000 in Kandel. During his lifetime he created more than one Gesamtkunstwerk and was always looking for new means of expression. KPM´s work and spirit is kept alive through the Karl-Peter Muller-Foundation. Its program reflects the philosophy of exceeding boundaries. Resigning, crossing and combining the limits of traditional art forms like painting, music, dance and language for the benefit of an extensive understanding of art just like KPM would have wanted it, according to his credo: “Art accessible for everyone“.
To actually begin with this quote from KPM´s lyrical work might be as right as it might be wrong. In any case it does not live up to his versatile personality or his immense body of work.
Who do we want to introduce than? The man, who is afflicting huge canvases? With different techniques at night? The man, who is able to paint abstract scenery, always monochrome -never monotone? The man, who wrote condense poetry microcosms of words - like the Japanese? The theatre-man? The worldly-wise, self-depicting person? The musician? The man, who lived in three counties (and in many more worlds?)
Unfortunately, not only in this country, productiveness is often regarded deprecatingly. Versatility often becomes synonymous for mass production.
Create your own image, make up your own mind, and meet a controversial artist who is tempting opposition, who can be called many things but one: boring!
Bodo von Langenn
Karl Peter Muller, born in Mannheim, studied painting and graphic art at the „Akadmie der bildenden Künste“ in Munich under Prof. Xaver Fuhr. He worked with Kokoschka and Vedowa and established himself as a freelance painter as early as at the age of 21. Painting, sculpture, collage, performance and environment as well as music and literature form his artistic spectrum. KPM is foremost known for his informal painting, which he followed openly and with great impartiality.
The importance of enjoying life becomes evident in the vivid colours Muller chose. It seems that some colour areas almost escaped the stroke of the brush, leading a life of their own, yet being tamed by the power of the painter - works of sensuality and forcefulness that contain the aroma of the natural. The renaissance of the primitive that had been discovered by the artist of the 19th Century and was further on splendidly absorbed by modern art, was caused by KMP who confronted technologically and scientifically driven times with his very own poetry.
For him freedom of the art always meant to exceed limits, not to follow the mainstream.
For Karl Peter Muller (KPM) art was his vocation, a continuing task, freedom and work at the same time. While always looking for the origins of things, he was mainly motivated by the mere reduction of whatever responded to his senses. The essence of every sensation, of everything he smelled, tasted, felt and experienced was transposed into his means of expression, in pictures, colours, words, forms and sounds. Reduction became the fuel for his tireless and powerful process of creation. Apart from the subject itself for KPM as a painter the LINE became more and more important for his development as an artist. It enabled him to see beyond his horizon as an artist as a mean of exclusion and inclusion.
He once wrote: "During the process of developing the line, I perceived a blade of grass or a straw as a much stronger line than the seismographic trembling sign of my hand. On top of that there was the reflecting light and the shadow of the grass. With that kind of logic I made my first collage of straw in Alsace, which I chose to be my home." (Also his last home)
Following that kind of logic the results were pictures, collages, texts assemblages and reliefs regarding the theme 'the grasharp'. He was always trying to find his own line. It was the school of Kokoschka that taught him how to see. Observation was the beginning of art of KPM.
Quote: "I continuously trained my vision and my drawing in order to find my own line, chasing it. Through reduction I am trying to keep out my nervous and unsteady line for letting the line to be followed until wherever it leads to, even exceeding the paper or the canvas. Just like a child. I therefore also always practiced blind-drawings because they develop a very special kind of tension. The very silent kind of tension that on canvas is caused by broken lines - the reduction - is finally leading to liberation. It is in those moments that one thinks to have found and his very own line.
I'm trying to captivate the tension of the silence through the line and its cultivation. Daily training of my vision provides me with good chances of blocking the satiation of my senses from the outside. Hence I can concentrate on the essential.
First of all one has to create base coats, on paper or canvas, that seem to have grown naturally, like skin, like the surface of a rock, like vellum. One designs his or her own shade of colours by using earthy colours and in a steady process of going back and forth one arrives at homogeneity. It's a slow, kind of meditating process. Not the quick drawing, that takes its strength through a precise visual perception. More like the routine kind of exercising, like Picasso used to do.
It is my repertoire that I am creating as an artist, and that one is me in the end. New forms develop from old ones that still remain the same. Everything exists already; nevertheless the aim is to find one's own, yet even that already exists. Therefore a find my personal emphasis hence the etymology of finding ones very own line."
Creating, drawing and painting always came first in KPM's life. Standing in front of a picture never was his dictum. On the contrary, he was seeking to be behind the picture in order to express itself in silence.
Of tremendous importance, personally and artistically, was his teaching for various academies from 1984 until 1994. Being surrounded by open minded, interested and astute human beings, whose company he sleeked and fostered all through his life, he never stopped asking himself "what do I really have to tell?"
Amongst his pupils he carefully choose the most sensitive ones to accompany him on his more profound, thematically oriented seminars and workshops in Maximiliansau. As a result of that decade he arrived at some very individual conclusions.
The following subjects were of prior interest to him and his pupils during that time: Spaces | Monuments | Shaman - priest - fetishism | Tone - colour | Descant in painting | From the bottom | Regarding the absurd, the laughable and coincidental in art | There is no such thing as coincidence | Sisyphus | Sisyphus as a cheerful person | The sum of all small steps is the way | Space installation | Stage and stage setting, personal performance | The line between figures | Working with waste | To take what is there | Onwardly - drawing, drawing - onwardly | Collage with linocut and woodcut | Text collage | Cutting lines - following the scissors | To engage with that line (Henri Matisse) | Injuries | Scraffiti and murals | Examination of our surroundings | Examination of common vita.
"Art for all," the main idea of KPM's philosophy, is also his reason for setting up a new foundation, the 'KPM Foundation'. The goal is to preserve his opus which consists of more than 800 pictures, 3,000 drawings, sculptures and installations and to make it accessible to a general public. In addition, the foundation will strive towards another goal; since a variety of organisations supporting young aspiring talents already exists, the KPM foundation will support works by older artists.
Kempinski Art Report, 2006
As an artistic multi-talent, he has plumbed the depths of the concept of freedom in all its facets – whether it is through painting, collage, sculpture, music and literature or performance. KPM leaves behind an energetic complete work, inseparable with the dynamic life of the artist.
Since his death on 05.08.2000, KPM represents for art lovers above all 'informal painting'. In informal painting there are no fixed composition rules. KPM, who travelled extensively throughout France, Spain and Malta, was fascinated by this style. The colours and lines partly dissolved in colour, create a vivid rhythm on canvas. Here, we show the series of informal golfers, which KPM depicted in an unforgettable way on canvas. The paintings are impressive, passionate and of a brilliant colour.
KPM's pictures are exhibited in galleries including in New York, Berlin, Mannheim, Tübingen and Munich.
VIP International Traveller Golf Edition