Los Angeles

Robert Mullen

Paul Rivas Gallery

Robert Mullen seems undecided about two basic sculptural possibilities––­whether to “occupy” or “enclose” space. The polished wooden sculptures tend toward the static monumentality of dol­men and occupy space as highly defined closed forms in spatial relationship with each other. The other sculpture encloses capsules of space more organically; shapes spring from a central core like spiral leaf-growth patterns or coral outcroppings, with much more emphasis on textural effect.

While no sculptor is under any obli­gation to repeat himself (quite the con­trary) one feels that indecision leads to confusion of premise, for while these pieces are consistent within themselves they are not consistent with each other. Mullen’s statement would be more con­vincing if he were more totally commit­ted to one or the other possibility.

––Joan Hugo