Representing the Work
Matt Mullican was born in 1951 in California. He grew up in a family of artists, surrounded by the ethnic works of his parents’ collection, and drew his first cosmology when he was eight. As a student at CalArts in the early ’70s, the young artist pursued this initiation with John Baldessari, in a rather unconventional class which the conceptual artist called Post-Studio Art. After graduating in 1974, Matt Mullican developed his own artistic language through pictograms, diagrams and models that he later used to configure his existential cosmology in the ’80s. This return to the image and subjective vision, in reaction to conceptual art, made him one of the representative figures in the Pictures Generation. Alongside these symbols which he applied to various supports (flags, books, stained-glass, etc.), Matt Mullican gave performances under hypnosis, during which his body became the medium through which the emblematic or even caricatural figure of humanity, That Person, was manifested. In 2019, the artist decided to compile this long international career in an installation-mosaic, Representing the Work, consisting of iconographic plates that each cover an essential chapter. This book reproduces the entire collection.