Mullican’s unique work defies categorization. Mullican sets himself apart with his ability to combine the public and private sector, the interior machinations of the psyche and the exterior world around us to comprehend daily life and planetary existence. The artist utilizes a wide range of materials to articulate his cosmology, including rubbings, posters, flags, stone, stained glass, bulletin boards, photographs, drawings and computer generated works. Many of these materials are already infused with meaning, be it civic, religious or commercial. Mullican commandeers these loaded mediums and diffuses his color-coded world to the public.
This historic exhibition will include an early film that explores the notion of a stick figure’s death, which Mullican created while attending Cal Arts. Mullican’s “posters”, drawings, bulletin boards and flags have been exhibited internationally and date back to the 70’s and early 80’s. Many of these early posters and drawings were first shown at Mary Boone’s in 1980, including Mullican Life and Mullican Death, among others. Additionally, a series of small rubbings on paper from Mullican’s monumental Dallas Project was first shown in 1988 at the Bath International Arts Festival. The bulletin board is comprised of photographs and newspaper cut-outs, including several recently discovered photographs from the seventies. Delving deeper into a possible 3-D version of his world, Mullican was one of the first artists to work with the super computer in 1986. Using this “new” technology to formulate an architecture of his complex cosmology and color-coded systems and categories, Mullican created a group of lightboxes that will make up the final chapter of the show.