Artist biography

German sculptor. He attended the Staatlichen Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (1975–82), where he studied under Klaus Rinke. From 1979 Mucha made assemblages and constructions from furniture and other objects, creating an oblique, highly personal oeuvre that alludes to industry and travel in contemporary Germany. During the 1980s he created installations, often using furniture found in situ – desks, chairs, lights etc – that raised questions of ownership and display, and of the autonomy of the museum environment. The theme of travel, especially of the railway, is central to Mucha's work. With Wartesaal he constructed an endless imaginary journey that may refer to the spiritual journey of a people during reconstruction. Other major room installations during the 1980s include Das Figur-Grund Problem in der Arkitektur des Barok (für dich allein bleibt nür das grab) (1985, various pre-fabricated objects), a large illuminated tower and carousel installed in the Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart. In an exhibition at the Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, in December 1993, Mucha showed seven wall-mounted sculptures, collectively titled Weight on Drivers, marking a shift away from his previous environmental installations. These again used recycled materials and carried names of German railway stations taken from Wartesaal. In 1997 Mucha exhibited in the same gallery Auto-reverse (mixed media, 1994–5, priv. col.), which included a looped film projection of his son sitting on a bicycle next to a railway track ; again he refers to history in both a social and biographical manner. Mucha represented Germany at the Venice Biennale in 1990.

Bibliography
Reinhard Mucha (exh. cat., essay G. Inboden, Stuttgart, Max-Ulrich Hetzler, 1982)
C. Schenker: ‘Reinhard Mucha', Flash A., 135 (Summer 1987), pp. 89–91
Reinhard Mucha: Mütterseelenallein (exh. cat., Frankfurt am Main, Mus. Mod. Kst, 1992)
Politics, Poetics: Documenta X, The Book (exh. cat., Kassel, Mus. Fredericianum, 1997)

JOHN-PAUL STONARD
10 December 2000

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