* 1874 Liebau/Riesengebirge
† 1930 Obernigk bei Breslau
The German Expressionist Otto Mueller was born in the Silesian town of Liebau on October 16, 1874. He does a lithographer apprenticeship in Görlitz from 1890-1894. He studies at the Dresden Art Academy from 1896 to 1899. He is a friend of the writer Gerhart Hauptmann, with whom he goes on extensive journeys to Switzerland and Italy. Otto Mueller goes to Munich in the winter of 1899, in order to continue his art studies, however, he is not accepted into the academy. He spends the years from 1900 to 1907 in his home, living in Liebau and other places in the Giant Mountains. As of 1908 he lives in Berlin, where he is a good friend of the sculptor Wilhelm Lehmbruck and is also acquainted with other Berlin artists. He is co-founder of the New Secession in 1910, on occasion of the exhibition "Zurückgewiesenen der Berliner Secession" (Those rejected by the Berlin Secession), Otto Mueller gets to know the artists of the "Brücke" (Bridge). He joins the artists group and participates in their exhibition in the Dresden gallery Arnold in September 19190.
Otto Mueller is one of the most important German expressionists. Despite being a member of the "Brücke", his works remain independent and unmistakable. He almost exclusively does nudes of slim girls in clear green nature or sylvan surroundings, and also exotic gypsy scenes. His style is strongly simplifying, reduced to silhouettes with a very clear structure and in warm earthen colors. Otto Mueller's works express a longing for a paradisiacal happiness and harmony.
Besides paintings, he also creates an extensive graphic oeuvre. As a trained lithographer, Otto Mueller especially prefers lithographs in colors.
He participates in the "Sonderbund" exhibition in Cologne in 1912. From 1915 to 1918 he has to serve in World War I, but he falls ill and returns to Berlin in 1918. A year later he is appointed professor at the Art Academy in Breslau, where he teaches up until 1930. He goes on extensive journeys through Europe. His works are confiscated as degenerate in 1937. He dies in Obernigk near Breslau on September 24, 1930.