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b. Sept. 24, 1947, Norfolk, VA-d. Sept. 16, 2011, NYC, an American painter whose color field and Lyrical Abstraction canvases took a turn towards pop. Earned his BFA in painting from the U. of Texas, Austin in 1969 and his MFA at Bennington College in 1971, where the influence of Clement Greenberg and the color field school ran high; he used that style as a stepping off point while incorporating many different spiritual symbols and motifs, so as not to remain entirely abstract.
As stated in the Brooklyn Rail: Islamic art, Indian miniature painting, Mexican ceramics, Tantra painting, the color theory of Philipp Otto Runge, the spiritual aura found in German Romanticism, music, textile design, and a profound knowledge of Eastern philosophy all contributed to shaping his vision. After abandoning gestural abstraction in the late 1980s, and with it a focus on earth tones, Stephen turned to color wholeheartedly. By the early 1990s, his palette was saturated with bright hues. It is one of the artist’s striking achievements that his work, despite all spectral indulgence, never seems flat... Mueller died of lung cancer on September 16, 2011, he was 63." (Wikipedia)
"...a New York painter who expanded and refined the vocabulary of 1960s Color Field painting into deliriously buoyant mystical-comic works, died on Sept. 16 in Manhattan. He was 63.
His mature paintings, which took shape in the early 1990s, were cross-cultural hybrids that presaged many current concerns in abstract painting, most importantly its scant interest in being purely abstract."
nytimes.com/2011/09/23/ (complete link above)
"In his recent solo exhibition at Lennon, Weinberg, Stephen Mueller seemed intent on making sure that his viewers left the gallery in a state of optical bliss." http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/reviews/stephen-mueller
Great interview with Stephen Mueller: http://bombmagazine.org/article/2464/stephen-mueller
See also: http://thesilo.raphaelrubinstein.com/artists/mueller