Lee Mullican: An Abundant Harvest of Sun
Lee Mullican’s paintings and drawings map the inner space of the mind and the outer space of the cosmos. Over a 50-year career, in works bursting with color, he sought a window onto the unconscious, without relinquishing the control of a skilled draftsman or references to the world around him. Influenced by Native American art and Surrealism, as well as Eastern religions like Buddhism and Hinduism, in 2005 Mullican’s formidable oeuvre gets an overdue retrospective, organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This exhibition catalogue is the most comprehensive collection of his work and includes an essay by organizing curator Carol S. Eliel and an homage to Mullican as a teacher and mentor by fellow Los Angeles painter Lari Pittman. Like another Lee (Bontecou) whose quiet career of working and teaching recently got a deserving retrospective, Mullican will emerge here as an American original.