Richard Müller, Rivalen, 1912

Mel Ramos, Rhinocerous, 1967 © Mel Ramos

Mel Ramos, The Voyeur, 1989 © Mel Ramos

exhibitions
Beauty and the Beast. Mel Ramos and Richard Müller Special Guest Wolfgang Joop

At first glance, a meeting between the artists Richard Müller (1874 Tschirnitz – 1954 Dresden) and Mel Ramos (*1935 Sacramento, California) is unusual.

While Ramos holds a most autonomous position within 20th century pop art, Müller represents a rediscovery for a broad audience. Müller, considered a pioneer of magic realism and surrealism, works with oil paintings and etchings composed in the style of the Old Masters. His many years of critical appraisal of the female body were particularly intense, in which apes, anteaters, armadillos and marabou pop up within his act portraits. In the ‘Animal Paintings’ by Mel Ramos, the naked subjects languish playfully in the mighty paws of a gorilla or recline on the back of a rhinoceros. Mel Ramos rose to prominence in the nineteen-sixties with his erotically-charged ‘Commercial Paintings’, in which he positioned pin-ups next to consumer products such as Coca Cola bottles, chocolate bars or cigars. The fashion designer Wolfgang Joop acts as curator for the part of the exhibition centring on Richard Müller.