Matt Mullican

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Matt Mullican
Mullican being interviewed by Radio Web MACBA
Born (1951-09-18) September 18, 1951 (age 72)
Alma materCalifornia Institute of the Arts
Occupation(s)Artist, teacher

Matt Mullican (born September 18, 1951) is an American artist and educator. He is the child of artists Lee Mullican and Luchita Hurtado.[1] Mullican lives and works in both Berlin and New York City.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Matt Mullican was born on September 18, 1951, in Santa Monica, California, to parents Lee Mullican and Luchita Hurtado.[3] His mother was Venezuelan-born.[4] In childhood he lived in Caracas, Venezuela for one year.[3]

Mullican received his BFA degree from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in 1974.


He rose to prominence as a member of The Pictures Generation along with such artists as Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein, David Salle, James Welling, Sherrie Levine, Cindy Sherman, Louise Lawler, Richard Prince and Robert Longo. His work is concerned with systems of knowledge, meaning, language, and signification. Mullican also works with the relationship between perception and reality, between the ability to see something and the ability to represent it.[5]

Since the 1970s, Mullican has been known for his performances done while under hypnosis.[6][7] During these performances, Mullican channels an alter ego known as 'That Person', who displays extreme and erratic behavior. Drawings made by Mullican while hypnotized are frequently exhibited and attributed to 'That Person'.[8]

Mullican's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally since the early 1970s at venues including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Haus Der Kunst, Munich, Germany, the National Galerie, Berlin, Germany, the Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam, Netherlands, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, and The Museum of Modern Art, NY. Mullican's work has been reviewed in Artforum,[9] the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, The New York Times,[3] and Modern Painters, among others. Mullican has been exhibited in 2017 on the Petit Palais' facade in Paris during the FIAC art fair with his giant piece of art "For Worlds Between Five".


Mullican was a professor at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg (German: Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg) in Hamburg, Germany, from 2009 to 2018.[2] He has also taught and lectured at Columbia University; The School of Visual Arts; the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam; The London Institute; and the Chelsea College of Art and Design.


  1. ^ Rea, Naomi (August 14, 2020). "'Her Legacy Has Only Just Begun': Luchita Hurtado, the Protean Artist Who Gained Renown in Her Final Decade, Has Died at 99". Artnet News. Retrieved January 19, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Matt Mullican: Between Sign and Subject - Announcements". Retrieved January 19, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Spears, Dorothy (November 14, 2008). "Mapping an Imagined Order, Page by Page". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 19, 2022.
  4. ^ Miranda, Carolina A. (August 14, 2020). "Painter Luchita Hurtado, who became an art star in her late 90s, has died at 99". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 19, 2022.
  5. ^ Bigman, Alexander R. (November 29, 2019). "The World According to Matt Mullican". Retrieved January 19, 2022.
  6. ^ Hinojosa, Lola. "Untitled (Matt Mullican Under Hypnosis: Zurich)". Museo de Reina Sofia.
  7. ^ White, Roger (June 12, 2006). "Matt Mullican". The Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved January 19, 2022.
  8. ^ Pasori, Cedar (April 12, 2018). "Virtual reality and hypnosis are Matt Mullican's choice art tools". Interview Magazine.
  9. ^ Artforum "[1]"

Further reading[edit]

  • Tenconi, Roberta; Ryan, Tina Rivers (2020). Matt Mullican: Photographs: Catalogue 1971–2018 (art exhibition). James Welling (photographer), Matt Mullican (artist), Anne Rorimer (contributor), Marie-Luise Angerer (contributor). Milan, Italy: Skira and Hangar Bicocca. ISBN 978-8857241173.

External links[edit]

  • [2] Tracy Williams, LTD. Artist's page
  • [3] Artforum, interview with the artist
  • [4] Podcast with Matt Mullican, 2015