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Ron Mueck

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Ron Mueck
Mask II (2001–2002) is believed to be a self-portrait
Hans Ronald Mueck

(1958-05-09) 9 May 1958 (age 66)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Known forSculptor

Ronald Hans Mueck (/ˈmjuːɛk/ or /ˈmuːɪk/) (born Hans Ronald Mueck; 9 May 1958) is an Australian sculptor working in the United Kingdom.


Born in 1958 to German parents in Melbourne, Australia, Ron Mueck grew up in the family business of puppetry and doll-making.[1] He worked initially as a creative director in Australian children's television shows like Shirl's Neighbourhood and Lift Off, before moving to America to work there in film and advertising.[2] Most notably, he designed, performed, and voiced the character of Ludo in the 1986 Jim Henson fantasy film Labyrinth. He later collaborated with Henson again on the TV series The StoryTeller. In 1996, he was asked by Paula Rego, his mother-in-law,[3] to make a small figure of Pinocchio for her group exhibition Spellbound: Art and Film, at the Hayward Gallery, London.[4]

Mueck first came to public attention with his sculpture "Dead Dad". This portrayal of his recently deceased father—at roughly half-scale[5] and made from memory and imagination—was included in the 1997 exhibition Sensation at the Royal Academy of Arts, London.[6]

Mueck's first solo show was at the Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London in 1998. His 5-metre (16 ft) high sculpture Boy 1999 was a feature in the Millennium Dome, and later exhibited at the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001. Today it sits in the foyer of the Danish Contemporary Art Museum ARoS in Aarhus.

Between 2000 and 2002, Mueck was Associate Artist at the National Gallery, London. During this two-year post he created the works Mother and Child, Pregnant Woman, Man in a Boat, and Swaddled Baby and culminated in an exhibition in 2003.[7]

Mueck's most recent major touring exhibition began at Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain (Paris), in 2013, and travelled to Fundacion Proa, Buenos Aires.,[8] MAM, Rio de Janeiro[9] (marking the biggest audience in the history of that museum),[10] and São Paulo, exhibited at the Pinacoteca.[11]

During 2016, Mueck exhibited at the Theseus Temple, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, and Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland.

In 2016 Mueck also received a major solo presentation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.[12] As part of the Hull UK City of Culture the following year, Mueck's works appeared as part of SKIN, at the Ferens Art Gallery, alongside paintings by Lucian Freud and Édouard Manet, and Spencer Tunick's photographs of his installation Sea of Hull. The exhibition features a new work, Poke, as well as Wild Man, Spooning Couple, Youth, Ghost, and Mask II.[13]


Mueck's sculpture responds to the minute details of the human body, playing with scale to produce engrossing visual images (a style known as hyperrealism). Mueck spends a long time, sometimes more than a year, creating each sculpture.[12] His subject matter is deeply private, and is often concerned with people's unspoken thoughts and feelings.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (6 August 2006). "Ron Mueck: From Muppets to motherhood". the Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  2. ^ Glueck, Grace (10 November 2006). "Ron Mueck – Art – Review". Retrieved 20 January 2019 – via NYTimes.com.
  3. ^ Willing, Nick, Paula Rego, Secrets & Stories, Kismet Films for the BBC, 25 March 2017.
  4. ^ Hurlston, David; et al. (2011). Ron Mueck (Exhibition Catalog). Melbourne: Yale University Press in association with National Gallery Victoria. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-300-17683-4.
  5. ^ Raine, Craig (11 August 2006). "Craig Raine on Ron Mueck's sculptures". Retrieved 20 January 2019 – via www.theguardian.com.
  6. ^ Hurlston, David; et al. (2011). Ron Mueck (Exhibition Catalog). Melbourne: Yale University Press in association with National Gallery Victoria. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-300-17683-4.
  7. ^ Greeves, Susanna; Colin Wiggins (2003). Ron Mueck. London: National Gallery Company. pp. 23–41. ISBN 1-85709-167-1.
  8. ^ "Ron Mueck – Exhibiciones – Fundación Proa". proa.org. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  9. ^ Ron Mueck in MAM-Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro Archived 5 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Ron Mueck supera Picasso e bate recorde de público no MAM". O Globo. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  11. ^ Ron Mueck in Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo Archived 29 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ a b "Ron Mueck (February 26–August 13, 2017) | The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston".
  13. ^ "SKIN: Artworks by Tunick, Mueck, Freud and Manet on display at Ferens Art Gallery - Hull UK City of Culture 2017". Archived from the original on 24 April 2017.