Ron Mueck

Ron Mueck

Ron Mueck was born to German parents in Melbourne, Australia, in 1958, and has since lived and worked in the UK. Having begun his career in the world of film and television, Mueck’s move into fine art was initiated by a collaboration with Paula Rego at the Hayward Gallery in 1996. A year later, his sculpture, Dead Dad, a three-foot representation of the artist’s dead father, became the run-away star of the era-defining Sensation exhibition at London’s Royal Academy of Arts. This landmark group show established Ron Mueck as one of the most important artists of his generation.

Ron Mueck’s meticulously sculpted figures, from the tiny to the monumental, each reflect an inner world of private feelings with unsettling power. The artist’s intimate, understated meditations on universal experiences, of compassion, vulnerability, fear and loss, draw each viewer to their own reflection. Ron Mueck has shown himself to be a major sculptor whose work elicits an immediate emotional response, by using all the traditional elements of his medium: pose, gesture, facial expression, scale and realism.

His work can also be compared to that of contemporary realist painters, in particular Lucian Freud… Mr. Mueck differs from such artists, however, in his empathetic involvement with his subjects, who seem to embody, in one way or another, the challenges and perils of the human condition.
 New York Times

In 2000, Mueck was invited to spend two years as artist-in-residence at the National Gallery in London, with a remit to make work in response to the permanent collection. The sculptures made during that time were presented in a solo exhibition at the National Gallery in 2003.

Ron Mueck might seem to have little in common with, say, Rembrandt and Raphael. But his meditations on birth and motherhood provide a modern foil for those many great works from the past which deal with the same theme.
– Charles Saumarez Smith

Mueck has continued to have solo exhibitions in some of the world’s most important Art Galleries and Museums, with tours of Europe, the Americas, the Far East and Australia. His sculptures have also been seen in group shows around the world. In 2017, Mueck was invited to take make a new work for the inaugural NGV Triennial in Melbourne. The resulting installation ‘MASS’, one hundred giant skulls piled high amongst the gilt-framed paintings in the museum’s collection of 18th Century art, is his most monumental work to date.

Solo exhibitions

2018


The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas


2017


Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas


2016


Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampa, Finland
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria


2015


Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canada
Bendigo Art Gallery, Australia


2014


Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil


2013


Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris
Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires


2012


KickArts Contemporary Arts, Cairns, Australia


2011


Antiguo de San Ildefonso, Mexico City
MARCO – Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico


2010


National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia


2009


ARTIST ROOMS, National Galleries of Scotland


2008


McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, Langwarrin, Australia


2007


CAC, Malaga
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas
Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh


2006


National Galleries of Scotland
Brooklyn Museum, New York


2005


21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan
National Gallery of Victoria, Australia
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra


2003 


Hamburger Bahnhofm Berlin 
Frans Hals Museum, Netherlands


2002


Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC


Group exhibitions

Ron Mueck’s work has been acclaimed in important group exhibitions since his debut at the Hayward Gallery, London, in 1996. Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection travelled from London (Royal Academy of Arts, 1997) to Berlin (Hamburger Bahnhof, 1998) and then New York (Brooklyn Museum, 1999). Subsequent group exhibitions include Plateau of Humankind, 49th Venice Biennale (2001); Bodily Space: New Obsessions in Figurative Sculpture, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York (2004); All the More Real: Portrayals of Intimacy and Empathy, Parrish Art Museum,  Water Mill, New York (2007); Bizarre Perfection, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2008); the travelling exhibition Lifelike at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, the New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2012–13); The Nude Man in Art from 1800 to the Present Day, Musée d’Orsay, Paris (2013); Arts & Foods: Rituals Since 1851, Triennale di Milano (2015); No Man is an Island – The Satanic Verses, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark (2016); Silveriness: The Art of Old Age, Lower Saxony State Museum, Hanover (2017); Highlights: The Collection of the Fondation Cartier, Seoul Museum of Art (2017); Reshaped Reality: 50 Years of Hyperrealistic Sculpture at ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Ishøj, Denmark (2017); NGV Trennial, National Gallery of Victoria, Australia (2017); The Shape of Time, Kunsthistorishes Museum, Vienna (2018); Hyperrealism Sculpture, Kunsthal Rotterdam (2018); Like Life, Sculpture, Colour, and the Body (1300–Now), The Met Breuer, New York (2018); Almost Alive, Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany (2018); A Beautiful Elsewhere at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, and The Power Station Of Art, Shanghai (both 2018); Reshaped Reality: 50 Years of Hyperrealistic Sculpture, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan (2019); and A Cool Breeze, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague (2019).


Public and private collections

United States


San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California


Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC


Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth


Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA


The Broad, Los Angeles


United Kingdom


Tate Gallery, London


National Galleries of Scotland


ARTIST ROOMS Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland


Ferens Art Gallery, Hull


Canada


National Gallery of Canada


Australia


National Gallery of Australia, Canberra


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney


National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne


Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane


France


Fondation Cartier, Paris


Denmark


Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark


The Netherlands


Caldic Collection, Museum Vorlinden, Netherlands


Japan


Towada Arts Centre, Japan


New Zealand


Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand