Lee Mullican

American, 1919–1998

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Lee Mullican

American, 1919–1998

316
Followers
Biography

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.

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Career Highlights
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Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 3 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial
Biography

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.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 3 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial
Shows Featuring Lee Mullican