Marc Selwyn Fine Art

Lee Mullican: Important Paintings from the 1950's

Lee Mullican: Important Paintings from the 1950's

Friday, September 9, 2011Saturday, October 15, 2011


Los Angeles, CA USA

Marc Selwyn Fine Art is pleased to announce Lee Mullican: Important Paintings from the 1950's. Lee Mullican, along with Wolfgang Paalen and Gordon Onslow Ford, was known as a member of "the Dynaton." This group of artists, named after the Greek word for "the possible," acted as a bridge between the European Surrealist and American Abstract Expressionist schools. Disbanding shortly after its historic exhibition in 1951 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Dynaton explored the subconscious mind, mysticism, automatism, and the influences of ancient cultures. Mullican remained true to these ideas but went on to develop his own highly personal imagery.

This exhibition will focus on the 1950's, a pivotal decade during which Mullican perfected the techniques he began in the late 1940's. It was during the 1950's that Mullican refined his signature use of the printer's knife to create his luminous and transcendental imagery. As an example, the show includes Splintering Lions, which was featured in the historic Dynaton Show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1951, as well as other important works from the artist's seminal Dynaton years. It goes on to explore the mid-fifties during which Mullican's style became more meditative and focused on the landscape, and it concludes with an example of the artist's "white paintings," which were zen and surprisingly minimalist in their aesthetic. Throughout the 1950's, Mullican continued to explore the Dynaton's concept of awareness characterized by the meditative self, surrounded by the energy of the landscape and the cosmos.

Lee Mullican was born in 1919 in Chickasha, Oklahoma and died in Los Angeles in 1998. He began drawing and painting as a child and continued in college becoming a topological draftsman in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Mullican's works are included in the permanent collections of numerous important institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of Modern Art, among others.