Entropvisions on "Jan Müller: Landscapes and Paths"

Jan Müller, Spinning Path I, 1956, Oil on canvas, 12 x 12 inches.  (BP#JM-7465)

Jan Müller at Bookstein Projects | 2022.11.30

Jan Müller’s paintings have always perplexed me, and so I was quite pleased to spend time with a large group at Bookstein Projects. On first entry to the gallery, I had my usual reaction: These are flat paintings. But as I looked more, and followed the color relationships, the space opened up to internal movements, both on the surface and in illusionistic depth. In addition to being a colorist, Müller was a symbolist of sorts, with, for instance, the upended paths of the late “Path Paintings” here at Bookstein. These paths circle the painting’s surface, separate though still somehow connected to the landscape pictorial space, suggesting a life journey going somewhere and nowhere simultaneously. The earlier landscapes at Bookstein, made in Provence, look a bit like Cezanne’s Provence, but only because both painters responded to similar motifs. The frontality of buildings, aqueduct and figures in Müller’s work create an almost childlike naive sensation of place, rather than the slow studied perceptual representation of Cezanne. The Müller show remains up through Dec. 16.