Matt Mullican, Subjects (2018)
Photo: Collection of the Schering Stiftung in the Kupferstichkabinett of the National Museums in Berlin, courtesy of the artist and Keystone Editions, Berlin
With the series Subjects, the U.S. artist Matt Mullican presents a lithographic work for the first time and thus expands his oeuvre, which oscillates between different media, by a new facet.
The artist has been developing a complex system of signs since the 1980s. This is created through an examination of signs, pictograms and images taken from the everyday world, which the artist expands with his own pictorial inventions. Mullican himself describes this system of signs as a model of a cosmology that is supposed to bring order into the hullabaloo that we call reality. It is also an expression of his very personal relationship to the world.
Mullican works not only with symbols and images, however, but also with a code that assigns a symbolic value to each color: Green stands for material, blue for the everyday world, yellow for ideas, white and black for language, and red for the subjective.
In Subjects, the artist also returns for the first time to writing, which he had consistently dispensed with since 1982. However, in Subjects he adds the text by handwriting: the irregularities of the handwriting contrast interestingly with the precision of the prints.
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