Lee Mullican: The Fifties
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Susan Inglett Gallery is pleased to present a selection of work by LEE MULLICAN (1919-1998) produced between 1949 and 1961, a seminal period in the artist’s career. The exhibition will run from 28 April through 4 June 2016 and will continue at James Cohan Gallery with work from the 1960’s and 1970’s from 14 May to 11 June 2016 at 533 West 26 Street.
Lee Mullican’s work draws from a deep well of influence found in Native American Art, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Surrealism, each embodying his passion for the metaphysical. Immersed in the spiritual and shamanistic beliefs present in the Native American culture of Chickasha, Oklahoma, Mullican arrived early to the life of the mind. He continued his explorations first discovering nature in Zen Buddhism and cosmology in Hinduism while stationed as an Army topographer during WWII in Guam, Hawaii and Tokyo. Travels to Latin America and later India also proved inspirational and helped to form his singular meditative art practice.
Following the war, Mulllican relocated to San Francisco in 1947 where he connected with kindred spirits Gordon Onslow Ford and Wolfgang Paalen. Together they formed the short-lived Dynaton group sharing a belief that painting, in the words of Paalen, “is the adventure into an inner space which cannot be measured by yardsticks nor light years. A space where thought travels faster than light…and the eye of the mind at once beholds worlds come and gone.” Mullican sought to illuminate this world beyond the here and now, to reconcile the fundamental duality of figuration and abstraction, the known and unknown, by visually and physically connecting to the metaphysical through his art. The work Mullican made during this fertile period provided the basis for everything that came after. Picturing celestial bodies in space, psychic energy fields, windows to an alternative cosmos, served to challenge and transport the artist for the next fifty years.
Lee Mullican’s work has been exhibited extensively, including solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Hammer Museum, LA; and the Grey Art Gallery, NYC. Mullican’s works can be found in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, amongst others.
The exhibition will be on view at the gallery located at 522 West 24 Street Tuesday to Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM. For additional information please contact Susan Inglett Gallery at 212/647- 9111, fax 212/647-9333 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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