los-angeles

Lee Mullican

Mount St. Mary’s College

The opening statement of the unsigned introduction to the catalog of this exhibition asserts: “Lee Mullican has been one of the dominant figures in West Coast art since his first one-man exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Art, in 1949.” It is the kind of statement which appearing in a commercial gallery would mean nothing, and in a scholarly institution is surprisingly unqualified. But the fact is that it is a statement which ought to have been true, and that it is not is saddening. For there is no doubt that Mullican is an artist of talent. His work maintains very individual overtones. His performance, nevertheless, over the years, has been less and less strong.

The work in this exhibition results from a grant by the University of California at Los Angeles, where Mullican teaches. One sees him, at every critical point, disengaging: the aridity of his color, and his dispersive

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