By Caleb Talley | Photography courtesy of the Arkansas Arts Center
This Fall, the Arkansas Arts Center will welcome back one of Little Rock’s own with the presentation Independent Vision: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Martin Muller Collection.
The striking vision of a master collector will be on display, beginning Sept. 28.
The exhibition, which was organized by the Arkansas Arts Center and Modernism, Inc. of San Francisco, is a tribute to Little Rock, where Muller spent his formative early years.
Muller, who was born in Switzerland, moved to Little Rock in the 1970s. It was during his time in Little Rock that he discovered an affinity for post-war American painting in the library of the Arkansas Arts Center. That would be the start of a lifelong pursuit of artistic treasures.
“This was the beginning of a rich, colorful, challenging and rewarding journey, started in Little Rock, where I made many lifelong friends,” says Muller.
“The collection was chosen for exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center because it originated in Little Rock,” he adds.
In 1977, Muller embarked on his career, pursing his passion for art professionally. He moved west, to San Francisco, and opened a warehouse, dubbed Modernism, in the South of Market district. Modernism has since presented more than 450 exhibitions in media that includes, paint, photography, sculptures and performance.
Independent Vision: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Martin Muller Collection features 89 works from Muller’s personal collection, showcasing his contemporary art journey. In all, 77 artists are represented, many of which he has championed throughout his career.
“The collection is unique because of its wide spectrum, covering all facets of modern and contemporary art and media,” says Muller. “Some of my favorite pieces include the Malevich drawings, the John Register Hotel with Four Chairs, and Mark Stock’s The Butler’s in Love painting.
According to the Arkansas Arts Center, the works in this exhibition represent a range of artistic expression, from American photographers Diane Arbus and Robert Mapplethorpe, modernist masters Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, pioneers of the Russian avant-garde Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Bogomazov, and El Lissitzky and pop artists Andy Warhol, Mel Ramos and Edward Ruscha. The show also includes a diverse array of contemporary works by artists such as Joel Besmar, Damian Elwes and Jean-Charles Blais.
Independent Vision: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Martin Muller Collection will be on display at the Arkansas Arts Center from Sept. 28 through Dec. 30. Admission to the Arkansas Arts Center is free to the public.
Click here to read>> Top Arkansas Art Exhibits to See This Fall.