Renate Müller is a designer and toymaker based in Sonneberg, Germany. She is known for her sturdy leather and jute toys with wooden wool and armature. Her large designs can be used as seats and footstools as well as therapeutic and educational tools for children. The mix of material textures that Müller incorporates in her work helps boost sensory stimulation, which is key to emotional wellness and brain development. Movement on, of, and around the toys increases children’s hand-eye coordination and motor skills such as balance and grip. Building on the same model with a surreal twist, Müller’s latest series of toys features “doubletail” hippos alongside two-headed seals and rhinoceruses.
In New York City, Müller’s second solo exhibition will be on view at R & Company (formerly R20th Century) from March 18 to April 26 of this year. The opening will take place Tuesday, March 18th, from 6-8pm. Then on Saturday, March 22nd, the gallery will host a Family Day led by Müller and collaborator Bernd Rückert. R & Company can be found at 82 Franklin Street, New York, NY 10013.
photography by Joe Kramm/R & Company