New York

Lee Mullican

Grey Art Gallery

Lee Mullican, who died in 1998, is one of the most important American abstract painters nobody knows—at least nobody on the East Coast (except perhaps some of those familiar with his son, Matt). Born in the “Indian territory” of central Oklahoma in 1919 and educated at the Kansas City Art Institute, he found his way to California in the late ’40s via a stint as an army cartographer. By the mid-’50s he was producing radiantly colored canvases characterized by precision knife work that resulted in shimmering linear striations. His practice as a painter extended into the ’70s and ’80s, by which time he had long since been fascinated with Zen Buddhism and Hinduism.

“Lee Mullican: An Abundant Harvest of Sun,” Mullican’s first museum retrospective (and his first solo museum show ever on the East Coast) was organized and curated by Carol S. Eliel for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and

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