BFA, University of Texas, Austin, TX, 1969
William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Sweeney Art Gallery, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA
The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
The Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, NY
The Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE
Montclaire State University, Montclaire, NJ
Bill Maynes Gallery, New York, NY
Lennon, Weinberg, Inc., New York, NY
Rose Burlingham/Living Room Gallery, Harlem, NY
Stephen Mueller was renowned for his color field paintings, a style that he expanded and refined from the 1970s to the 1990s. In color field paintings, large stains and fields of flat, consistent color become the subject. Mueller's abstracted forms are infused with symbolic meaning and spiritual power. His inspiration is drawn from a myriad of sources: eastern and middle-eastern art and culture, especially tantric symbols, as well as from modern and contemporary abstract painters. His symbols floating in luminous, atmospheric washes are meant to demonstrate what he calls "the folly of duality;" the lack of spatial information skews the viewer's perception of figure and ground. His use of geometric patterns, vibrant colors, and Tantra iconography creates an ethereal, otherworldly spirit that is meant to awaken, inspire, and reveal the transience of everything.
Mueller received his MFA from Bennington College where he was exposed to leading influential artists, critics, and theorists of the 1950s and 60s. He also had a stint working for Warhol in his factory and was inspired by the Pop movement and Warhol as a colorist. In his work, he chose to explore interactions between paint and color, figure and ground, and infinite perception.