Matt Mullican

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Matt Mullican
Untitled [Anatomy]
Black oil stick rubbing on wove paper
28 1/2 x 22 7/8 inches (72.4 x 58.1 cm)
Gift of Sharon and Simeon Dunlap Smith.

Matt Mullican is associated with the "Pictures Generation," a group of artists (including Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince and others) that emerged in the 1970s, whose work relies on the appropriation and transformation of photography from the consumer world. Mullican's heterogeneous art includes performances, photographs, installations, collages, drawings, paintings, sculpture, posters, and banners. These diverse forms coalesce around a complex system of cosmologies that he has been developing since the early 1970s. Inspired by Chinese rubbings taken from stone reliefs, he began producing rubbings such as the present drawings in 1983. He appropriated their imagery from the nineteenth-century Edinburgh Encyclopedia, whose illustrations were often themselves reproductions from earlier sources. Mullican's use of rubbing, a mode of image transfer favored by the Surrealists for its potential to produce uncanny effects, suggests that unconscious processes are at work in the evolution and transmission of human knowledge.

Sharon and Simeon Dunlap Smith.
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