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


The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas


Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas


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


Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canada
Bendigo Art Gallery, Australia


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


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


KickArts Contemporary Arts, Cairns, Australia


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


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


ARTIST ROOMS, National Galleries of Scotland


McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, Langwarrin, Australia


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


National Galleries of Scotland
Brooklyn Museum, New York


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


Hamburger Bahnhofm Berlin 
Frans Hals Museum, Netherlands


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


National Gallery of Canada


National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane


Fondation Cartier, Paris


Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark

The Netherlands

Caldic Collection, Museum Vorlinden, Netherlands


Towada Arts Centre, Japan

New Zealand

Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand