Joseph Clayes III Gallery
Nikko Mueller: I’m OK, You’re OK
September 21–November 2, 2019
In I’m OK, You’re OK, Nikko Mueller presented a new body of work exploring patterns, systems, and transformations through the formal language of color and geometric abstraction. In an unobstructed nod to Frank Stella and Joseph Albers, Mueller’s paintings and painted objects begin with simple prescribed devices: fundamental divisions of the field and diagrammatic forms with direct visual logics. These initial relationships between context, image, and canvas are then confronted by tectonic disruption, mutation, and reconciliation—revealing compromised compositions that are cheekily human in their condition. Mueller’s formalism is informed by a political sensibility. The pieces examine and reconsider the underlying structures and dynamics of abstraction. The exhibition’s title is appropriated from Thomas Harris’ popular self-help book on Transactional Analysis. I’m OK, You’re OK serves as substrate for Mueller’s investigation into how formal relationships adapt, persist, and deform/transform in the face of change.
Mueller received his MFA from Claremont Graduate University and has exhibited at Angles Gallery, Sam Lee Gallery, Southwestern College Art Gallery, and also in numerous group exhibitions at art venues throughout the United States and in Europe, including Honor Fraser Gallery, Metro Union Station, Quint Contemporary, R.B. Stevenson Gallery, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Dust Gallery, Sweeney Art Gallery, and Museum of Modern Fine Art, Minsk. He is currently a professor of art at Southwestern College.