New York

Marlon Mullen, Untitled, 2018, acrylic on linen, 30 × 30 1⁄4".

Marlon Mullen

JTT

Marlon Mullen begins by painting words, performing an act that neither comes from nor returns to reading. The artist has autistic spectrum disorder and suffers from expressive aphasia; he rarely uses spoken or written language to communicate. His voice, though, is coherent and glorious. This was Mullen’s third solo show at JTT.

In the late 1960s, California governor Ronald Reagan deinstitutionalized many of those diagnosed with mental illness; as US president, he continued in this vein and shifted responsibility for the mentally ill to the states, leaving thousands with limited options. In response, the artist Florence Ludins-Katz and her husband, the clinical psychologist Elias Katz, founded a series of art centers, starting with Creative Growth in Oakland, California. Then, in 1985, they established the Nurturing Independence Through Artistic Development (or NIAD) Art Center in Richmond,

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