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Matt Mullican

Since the 1970s, US artist Matt Mullican has been interested in models for explaining the world. He has developed a complex system of symbols consisting of various pictograms and colors as a means of tackling the question of the structure of the world, and with his system he aims to portray in symbols every aspect of the human condition in different combinations.

Every color has a specific symbolic value attached to it. For example, green stands for material, blue for the everyday world, yellow for ideas, white and black for language and red for the subjective.

The model of perception that Mullican calls the theory of the five worlds serves him as a system of order for his method of working as an artist. It illustrates the relationship between the world and its representation. The artist is particularly interested in how we charge symbols and systems of symbols with meaning. —Nikolaus Bischoff

  • Matt Mullican, Untitled (all I see are light patterns in 5 colors), 2018

    oil stick rubbing and gouache on canvas
    78.74 x 78.74 in (200 x 200 cm)

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  • Matt Mullican, Untitled (Tin Tin World framed to Elements in Center), 2018

    oilstick, acrylic on canvas, rubbing
    78.74 x 157.48 in (200 x 400 cm)

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  • Matt Mullican, Untitled (Two City Charts with Sign), 2005

    oilstick on canvas, rubbing
    24.02 x 29.92 in (61 x 76 cm)
    EUR 9 000

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  • Matt Mullican, Untitled (Computer Generated Details and Landscapes; 02/20), 2002

    Duratrans in lightbox
    8.27 x 11.81 in (21 x 30 cm)
    EUR 9 000

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  • Matt Mullican, Untitled (Experiments with Light), 2001

    duratrans in lightbox
    20.47 x 16.54 in (52 x 42 cm)

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  • Matt Mullican, Untitled (7 Signs with City Chart), 1992

    7 parts, limestone, chalk
    Dimensions Variables

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  • Matt Mullican, Untitled (real objects on a fictional table), 1973, 1973

    Marker on Paper 
    13.39 x 16.93 in (34 x 43 cm)
    EUR 10 000

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