Lee Mullican
American, 1919-1998
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
The 1960s,
James Cohan
Lee Mullican: The 1960s,
James Cohan
Lee Mullican: Shatter Special,
Equitable Vitrines

Grounded in the belief that modern painting should merge abstraction and representation to best reveal the underlying order of the universe, Lee Mullican made drawings and paintings that synthesized European Surrealism, American abstraction, and Native American heritage geometries. Mullican’s experience as a topographer during World War II instilled in him an admiration for the abstract patterns inherent in natural forms and refined his drawing abilities. Favoring contradictory visual elements, he opted for clashing yet complementary colors, building images simultaneously serene and stimulating. Mullican painted in a style influenced by printmaking, forming ridges of paint and using the edge of a palette knife to achieve a line raised and puckered; the resulting surfaces caught light and cast shadows, ultimately assuming a tapestry-like quality.