Matt Mullican - Biography

In order to understand the world, the American sculptor and conceptual artist Matt Mullican seeks to organize it. In myriad ways and over and over again, the California native attempts to superimpose organizational principles onto a chaotic universe. His large-scale installations consist of an exuberant abundance of small-scale pieces: drawings, flags, comic clippings, photographs, cartoons, light boxes, textile collages, stylized handwriting, recipes, stuffed birds, glass sculptures, stone carvings, and erected walls covered in pinned items.

"All we see are patterns of light."

At the same time, the manic collector developed a complex classification system consisting of various colors and characters. For the artist, red represents the subjective; blue the everyday world; green, matter; yellow, the idea; and white and black, language. The 60-year old artist employs colors in conjunction with visual icons. Since the late 80s, he has also employed newer technologies such as computers and the Internet to develop and depict his "cosmology".


However, Mullican's early structural films, in which painted surfaces appear to be dissolved by moving light, betray the influence of his teacher at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Los Angeles, Richard Serra. According to this exceptional artist, who is currently teaching at the College of Fine Arts in Hamburg, "all we see are patterns of light". Mullican also records performances of his that have taken place while under hypnosis, and displays them in his exhibitions on screens placed in the rooms.

Matt Mullican - art exhibitions

In the past few decades, Matt Mullican's works have been exhibited in various international art institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum, New York (2009), at the Sao Paulo Biennial (2008), at the ICA in Philadelphia (2008), and at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2008). In the years 1982, 1992 and 1997 he was represented at the Documenta in Kassel.


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Matt Mullican

Matt Mullican

"Beautifully", 2009

Matt Mullican: Beautifully, 2009
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