Matt Mullican

Pantagraph

3 November - 17 December 2016

New York



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PRESS RELEASE

Peter Freeman, Inc. is pleased to present Matt Mullican: Pantagraph, the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery in New York.

The Berlin- and New York-based artist has, since the 1970's, developed a multi-disciplinary body of work exploring models of representation, knowledge, communication, and organization.

For this exhibition, Mullican creates a densely immersive installation from three work types: five large banners that form a corridor within the gallery space; two large walls of new rubbings on painted canvas hung nearly floor to ceiling; and a new expansive work comprised of 535 individual pages, displayed across 16 tables: Man and His Symbols, after the final book written by Swiss psychotherapist Carl Jung.

The five orders of the artist’s own cosmology are the basis of the five banners, which were first shown in his 2013 solo exhibition at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. Their bold colors and seemingly straightforward design echo the inundation of images we encounter daily—signage and icons meant to communicate quickly, directly, and universally. A recurring medium in his practice, the banner has been fascinating to Mullican for its ubiquity across cultures and throughout time.

Junctures, connections, and pathways are the main subjects of the rubbings; their images, culled from sources spanning the nineteenth century to the present, include trains, stations, tracks, and charts. Language and communication are central as well; for example, one rubbing features the typeface Mullican designed from a geometry he has used since the 1970’s. Their making—with acrylic gouache and oil stick on canvas—is a mechanical process based on transfer and reproduction, and at their core the rubbings reflect Mullican’s project of investigating systems of communication and conveyance, and the gap between the thing and its symbolic representation. Mullican’s entire body of rubbings, begun in 1984, was recently documented in a comprehensive catalogue raisonné.

Mullican’s Man and His Symbols includes every image from Jung’s book (which was published posthumously in 1964), cut out and collaged on pages in the order in which they appeared, each page numbered twice by the artist: one number represents the image’s page number in Jung’s book, the other the page in Mullican’s book. The book’s original chapter headings, also on single sheets, are interspersed on similarly numbered sheets.

Positioned as an introduction of sorts—and a key—to the entire exhibition is a found metal sign from the 1930s, that once was somewhere along the New York, New Haven, Hartford Railroad. It reads: “Caution: structures along this track will not clear a man on top or side of cars.”

Matt Mullican was born in Santa Monica, California, in 1951 and lives and works in Berlin and New York. He has had many solo exhibitions at important international museums including Kunstmuseum Winterthur (2016), Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2013), Haus der Kunst, Munich (2011), and Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne (2010), among many others. The artist's works can be found in major public collections: Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Musée National d’Art Moderne - Centre Pompidou, Paris; Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris; Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, and many more. His exhibition The Sequence of Things is currently at the Camden Arts Center, London, through 8 January 2017. The second venue of his major exhibition Nothing Should Exist, opens 5 November at Kunsthalle Vogelmann, Heilbronn. Pirelli HangarBicoccia, Milan, will present a major Mullican exhibition in spring 2018.

A reception for the artist will be held Thursday 3 November from 6 to 8 pm. On 18 and 19 November, during the run of our show, Mullican will make two rare performances at The Kitchen.

For reproduction requests, interviews with the artist and general inquiries, please contact the gallery at 212-966-5154 or info@peterfreemaninc.com.