New York

Martin Mull

David Beitzel Gallery

Martin Mull would like nothing more than for us to ignore his celebrity. He has repeatedly referred to acting as his “day job,” admitting that earning respect as a visual artist is his highest priority. But Mull’s two careers are of a piece. From ’70s stand-up and roles on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and Fernwood fright to his mid-’80s cable special The History of White People in America (divided into episodes called “White Religion,” “White Politics,” “White Crime,” and “White Stress”), Mull the actor has focused on white American cultural myths and stereotypes. And Mull the painter brings to bear the same earnest irreverence, seriousness of intent, and dark humor.

Mull usually works on a large scale, in oil on canvas. Seven of his most recent paintings (all works 2000) were on view here, along with a selection of smaller watercolors, his preferred medium when he is on location. At the core

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