Matt Mullican


Vitrine with the World framed-2, 2007
180 x 120 x 80 cm


That persons work with single bedsheets, 2007
Installation with 26 bedsheets
800 x 800 x 250 cm


Combination of the Single Bedsheets-1, 2007
Mixed media on bedsheet
97 x 65 inches


Steam Machine, 1984
Oilstick on canvas
182,5 x 122 cm


Trance/Performance, Kunsthalle Zürich, 2004
Video, PAL, sound, looped, 1 sequence: 69 min 47 sec., ed. 16 + 4 AP


Untitled (colored patterns under green light), 2000
Mixed media
250 x 250 x 250 cm


Vitrine next to the Subjects, 2007
70,9 x 47,2 x 31,5 inches

Matt Mullican

Matt Mullican was born in 1951 in Santa Monica, California and studied at California Institute for the Arts in the early 1950s. His work, discussed widely internationally, refuses general art categorizations and classifications. Since the end of the 1970s, he has been concerned intensely with performances under hypnosis. In the state of trance, Mullican has since then represented the other person about whom he is thinking in his work, and tries to trace out the relationship between artistic work and processes of projection. In so doing, at issue is not a subjective psychoanalytic process, but a typical situation in which action takes place within a context of significant symbols. In the 1980s the development of a complex sign system stood at the center of Mullican’s interest, which claimed to be an comprehensive cosmology. In engaging with the signs, pictograms, and images that surround us in everyday life, pictograms, and images expanded through products of fantasy, Mullican generates by way of repetition, contextualization, and mutual references a highly complex personal language system, with which he tries to grasp his cosmology in models. Encyclopedic, utopian, universal, cosmological are only some of the terms that obtrude in this context. Since the late 1980s, he has also used newer technologies to develop and represent this cosmology, like the computer and the Internet. In the virtual media space, in so doing city-like ordering systems emerge as models of cognitive perception, or as models of changing perspectives on various layers of perception that the artist symbolizes using color.  

Matt Mullican’s works have been shown at numerous international art institutions like Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan (2018), Kunstmuseum Winterthur (2016), The Hammer Museum UCLA (2014), Haus der Kunst, Munich (2011), Metropolitan Museum (2009), Biennale Sao Paulo, ICA, Philadelphia, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2008), Georg Kargl Fine Arts, Vienna (2007, 2000), Bolzano’s Museion, Museum Ludwig in Cologne (2006), Lentos Museum in Linz (2005), Documenta, Kassel (1982, 1992 and 1997).