Thursday, December 15, 2005

An Abundant Harvest of the Sun

I was not very familiar with Lee Mullican’s work, so it was an experience for me to get to see this comprehensive exhibit. I wasn’t prepared for the tactile quality of lines of paint applied with a printer’s ink knife or the vibrating color choices. His influences include Zen Buddhism and pre-Columbian and Northwest Coast art, and a meditative reflection on nature and inner states. There is a tension between figurative and abstract and his work and along with other West Coast painters Gordon Onslow Ford and Wolfgang Paalen is distinguished from Abstract Expressionism through a concern with content and (from Susan C. Larsen, “Lee Mullican”) “a holistic meditative art resonant with the special touch and calligraphic signature of the artist’s hand but without the tragic overtones and violent gestural disruptions of the pictorial plane.”

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