“Steve Reich: Since that time, things have changed. And there are no more record stores.
Russell Hartenberger: In other parts of the world, there still are record stores…”
—Excerpt from Steve Reich's Conversations (New York: Hanover Square Press, 2022)
Blum & Poe is pleased to present Sunset, Sunrise (repeat) b/w The Record Pavilion, Los Angeles-based artist Dave Muller’s eleventh solo exhibition with the gallery.
With Sunset, Sunrise (repeat) b/w The Record Pavilion, Muller looks back on his life of growing up in record stores. In a tribute to the slow and physical act of touching, browsing, and looking at records, this exhibition presents the artist’s treasured pastime, one that is becoming extinct as music consumption is increasingly intangible. The presentation unfolds in three parts: hand-painted wall murals, new paintings of records and record store paraphernalia, and an open-air, modernist pavilion for rehousing records.
Muller’s newest paintings draw from a reservoir of reference materials that the artist has amassed, including his scrupulous archive of price tags and hype stickers—a personal collection of roughly 1,500 unique decals from albums purchased. Depicting these at larger-than-life scale and layering them atop one another to fill the composition, Muller tapes off, gessoes, and paints each section of the work’s surface in thin, accumulating layers, in a nod to the analog and hand-done systems of music distribution.
Muller also presents works that further his quintessential record paintings. Inspiring the exhibition’s title, Anita Ward’s Ring My Bell and Amii Stewart’s Knock on Wood, two disco-era classics, both have sunsets (or perhaps, sunrises) pictured on their labels. Muller has adoringly rendered both labels, every detail and bit of wear and tear, in his paintings—turning the gallery into a durational space, with a sunrise at the east end and a sunset in the west. With these artworks as bookends, this installation functions as a three-dimensional, twenty-four-hour clock face.
At the center of the clock that makes up Sunset, Sunrise (repeat) b/w The Record Pavilion is the record pavilion: an open structure filled with a cornucopia of records from his personal collection that spans eras, countries, categories, and genres—like a diary that traces a life lived in music. The artist sees the records in this space as components of the ongoing self-portrait that is his greater collection: a self-portrait that is also an invitation to peruse. Of the records that he is willing to part with, he says, “they already had their journey with me.” Muller will be personally selling records, manning the register, and hosting in-store sets and chats in the pavilion on Saturday, July 30 from 10am to 6pm.
Dave Muller lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. His work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including solo shows at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, León, Spain; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; and Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MI. His work is represented in the public collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, among others.