An enquiry
  • Richard Müller
  • Tschirnitz / Bohemia 1874 -1954 Dresden
  • An enquiry, 1915
  • Pencil and black chalk, partly smeared, framing lines, on creme paper, on an old mount
  • dated and signed: Mai 1915. Rich. Müller., entitled: Eine Anfrage ...
  • cat. rais. Z 1913.04 (wrong date)
  • 440 × 670 mm
estate of the artist, gallery XX Wolf Uecker, Hamburg (1969), coll. Joachim Telkamp, Munich
Franz H. Meißner: Das Werk von Richard Müller, Dresden 1921, no. 94, ill. p. 95

Particularly during the years following his wartime experiences, Richard Müller generated a number of graphic works in which he juxtaposed, with astonishing wit, naked female beauties and exotic animals. Thus is the case with this large-scale drawing from 1915, which he himself titled An enquiry. In Müller‘s vocabulary of motifs, the coati (hog-nosed coon) typically stands for a silent observer who, despite his phallus-like nose, has not been endowed with a great libido. Nevertheless, in this case his curious gaze and erect tail cannot deny a certain lasciviousness. The naked beauty, on the other hand, hides her face – as in nearly all similar compositions – with an oversize fan here. It is not necessarily a kittenish woman standing behind the fan, but perhaps rather a desire for an incognito or depersonalized vamp. The garters are a remnant of erotic photography, which was still widespread, and testify to the artist‘s propensity towards sexually-ambiguous anecdotes. Müller enjoyed great success with these erotic, albeit stylistically-alienated works. His son, Adrian Lukas, sold graphic reproductions as an art dealer all over Europe and abroad.