Matt Mullican

1951 (Santa Monica, California), lives and works in Berlin and New York

In the early 1970s Matt Mullican studied at the California Institute of the Arts, where he was a student of John Baldessari. His oeuvre defies classification in any well-established art category and is difficult to categorise. Since the end of the 1970s he has occupied himself with hypnosis and has performed under hypnosis. In this trance-like state he does not seem to be himself. He rather seems to be an invented figure who he attempts to delve into and further explore in his work. 

During the 1980s Mullican developed a complex sign system made up of common symbols and signs, as well as products of his fantasy, which from then on became the focal point of his work. Through repetition, the creation of context and the use of references, he transformed this personal sign system into his very own language system. He now uses it to make sense of his cosmology, and explain it in an exemplary way.

Since the late 1980s Mullican has also been using new media technologies such as computers and the internet to visualise this “cosmology”. In these virtual rooms, classification systems that resemble towns or construction sets are created through the use of his cosmology models.

 Over the last few decades Matt Mullican’s works have been exhibited at various international cultural institutions. For instance, during the past few years his works have been shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2009), São Paulo Biennial (2008), ICA Philadelphia (2008), Centre Pompidou, Paris, Haus der Kunst (House of Art), Munich (2008), MUSEION, Bolzano (2006), Ludwig Museum, Cologne (2006), and the Lentos Art Museum, Linz (2005). In 1982, 1992, and 1997 he exhibited his works at the documenta in Kassel.