Jan Müller German-American, 1922-1958


German born Jan Müller was a New York based figurative expressionist artist mainly active from the late 1940s through the late 1950s. Having fled the Nazi regime in 1933, at age 12, he would separate and reunite with his family in search of safety and stability for the next eight years. It was in Switzerland that Müller suffered his first bout of rheumatic fever, an ailment that would trouble him for the remainder of his life.


Arriving in New York in 1941 he worked odd jobs to afford to live and paint, studying at the Art Students League for a short period and then five years with Hans Hofmann. It was with Hofmann that he began to develop a mosaic-like approach to painting, a style he would continue to adapt into the 1950s. During this period Müller lived in a small studio in lower Manhattan spending his summers in Provincetown, MA. among a group of artists that included Bob Thompson and Robert Motherwell. In 1955, after a life-saving surgery to his rheumatic fever damaged heart, Müller returned to Provincetown to mount a solo exhibition at the newly opened Sun Gallery. That same year he created a series of paintings, each involving a path that meandered through non-descript space, winding or curving upwards and through the pictures.

Jan Müller died in January of 1958 from complications surrounding rheumatic fever at the age thirty-five.

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