LEE MULLICAN | BERLIN
EXPANDED.ART is pleased to present TOWARD THE UNKNOWN. PRINT AND DIGITAL, the first solo show by Lee Mullican at the gallery in Berlin. As a pioneer of digital art, especially in the USA, Mullican has devoted his life to experimenting with various art forms. His paintings depict characteristically computer-like patterns and lines, emphasising the artist's devotion to combining technology and art.
Mullican has always been open to new experiences at a time when the world was changing rapidly. He was drawn to new ways of creating images and opened himself up to experimentation. Being born in a small town in Oklahoma in 1919 and having a conservative Christian upbringing didn’t close him off; it activated a thirst for what more could be out there. Mullican taught at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for over 27 years. While he was there in the mid-1980s, they had a program called the Advanced Design Research Centers Program for Technology in the Arts. There they had the first PC-based computer lab for the Art Faculty. Mullican was one of the only faculty interested in experimenting with computers. People told him that he was wasting his time and that he should be painting.
"I found that beyond what one thought, the computer as being hard-lined, analytical, and predictable, it was indeed a medium fueled with the automatic, enabled by chance and accident, discovery of new ways of making imagery."
– Lee Mullican
Mullican was not particularly interested in technology, other than to have the means to show his patented painting style, which he developed in the late 1940s by using a palette knife to make these raised lines, which he called striations of three-dimensional paint on the canvas. He also incorporated the surrealist method of automatism, where he would go into a state and make semi-automatic work. Through technology, he further developed his style and made changes to it, but when he arrived at the computer, he was able to use some of the same methods he used for his paintings.
"I explored inner space and outer space. There were walks in landscapes that appeared from the depths of the mind. I found a new planet, and there were galaxies to explore. There was an energy that moved from canvas to canvas and drawing to drawing. I am not sure this energy has ever been fully understood. Mystery of everything and a vision of all."
– Lee Mullican
Mullican was looking for something no one had seen before but could be understood through a visual experience.
LEE MULLICAN: TOWARD THE UNKNOWN. PRINT AND DIGITAL
4-30 OCTOBER 2023
OPENING: 4 OCTOBER | 6-9 PM CET
Friedrichstraße 67, 10117 Berlin
Monday - Saturday: 11 AM - 6 PM CET