On view at ROSEGALLERY on 18 February, Not From Here presents new works by Los Angeles-based artists Manfred Müller and Shaun McCracken. This is Manfred Müller’s fourth and Shaun McCracken’s first exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition opens on February 18th with a reception for the artists from 6 until 8 pm.
Not From Here features new works by Müller and McCracken, two artists who originate from Europe and currently live and work in Los Angeles. Born in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland in 1964, McCracken left his home in the early 1980s to study Fine Art as St. Martins College and Goldsmith University in London. His departure from Northern Ireland marked his retreat from the provincialism of his hometown in an embrace of new surroundings and the chance to explore and produce non-representational art. From 1976 to 1981 Müller studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, bringing his background as a technical draftsman to his architectural sculptures. Müller, influenced by his professor Erwin Heerich’s minimalist architectural sculptures and Joseph Beuys’ revolutionary use of materials, merged his environment with his work, creating pieces that engaged their surroundings through construction and installation, with a deep understanding of space and tactility.
Manfred and McCracken create abstracted spaces, dimensional and layered. McCracken’s egg tempera paintings, vibrant with several watercolors, have all been completed over the past two years. Without any prior planning or drawing, McCracken layers his geometric abstract paintings with lines which reveal the evolution of the painting itself, creating an individualized history within each work. Müller uses folding, contrasts and creases in paper to address the notion of one’s experience with their constructed surroundings. The architectural sculptures engage and reconfigure space with a conscious effort to emulate the aesthetic principles of constructivism. Through the voids and fills, colored spaces and visual history, the two artists reflect the world surrounding them without ever directly referencing it visually.
Both artists inhabit dual identities — Müller, German-American, and McCracken, from Northern Ireland and currently living in the United States — yet the two artists do not merely workbetween these identities and spaces, but rather broaden their work through their breadth of environments and influences. Their movements throughout this world follow a similar pattern to the movement of the eye through Müller’s architectural sculpture, open-ended yet methodical and the movement of McCracken’s lines across the canvas, continually spreading yet guided.