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Matt Mullican

Matt Mullican is best known for combining performance, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and video as a means of exploring the subjective through the intersection of communal signage and personal semiotics. His radical explorations have led him to establish his own subjective 5-part classification system, which he calls the “Five Worlds”. In this cosmology, each color corresponds to different levels of perception: green stands for material, blue for the everyday world, yellow for ideas, white and black for language and red for the subjective.

Online from 9 October until 6 November 2021





Exhibition views of “The Feelings of Things” at Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, 2018.

Matt Mullican
That world where cartoon characters roam (Subject Sign Frame),
oilstick on canvas, rubbing
120 x 240 x 3 cm

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Rather than focusing on the physical art object, Matt Mullican’s body of work addresses how art functions for an individual and the society in which that individual lives. Over the last thirty years, he has developed an intricate framework through which our experience of reality can be dissected. In an enormous range of media, Mullican shows us the amorphous territories lying just below our daily operations.

Matt Mullican
Untitled (Behind That Person), 2011
oil stick and acrylic on canvas
191 x 124.2 x 2.7 cm

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Each material becomes a context for examination of pure subjectivity, pure materiality, and everything in between. His production – from re-contextualized images to digital spaces to hypnosis performances – separate the layers of our belief structures, exposing reality as a product of the imagination. Notably, much of his recent work explores the persona which has emerged from the hypnosis performances. “That Person” is responsible for a set of works, which expose a more primary worldview and a more real self, capable of existing outside the authority of the physical world. Developed over a period of three decades, the works of Matt Mullican are now considered some of the most influential contributions contemporary art has seen in recent years: his oeuvre is both mysterious and clear, and remarkable for the myriad of media and materials used. Mullican’s range of media and forms of expression extend from fragile models and bulky sculptures, drawings, collages, light boxes, and computer animation to glasswork and textiles, videos, and performance.

Matt Mullican
Untitled (Subjective), 2012
rubbing on canvas
5 parts, each 335.3 x 121.9 cm

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Matt Mullican
Untitled (2×4 interior World with Bed), 2015
Oilstick, rubbing and gouache on canvas
2 parts, each 200 x 200 x 4.5 cm

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Matt Mullican
Untitled (World Door Lock), 2016
Oilstick, rubbing and gouache on canvas
75 x 150 cm

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Matt Mullican
Untitled (World Door), 2016
Oilstick, rubbing and gouache on canvas
75 x 150 cm

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