(American, born 1943)
oil on linen, 52 x 52 inches
Artwork courtesy of the Artist
Martin Mull’s collage-like paintings weave together disparate elements of the real and the imagined. Comprised from seemingly random fragments of imagery, Silverdale–the name of the street he grew up on–suggests specific childhood memories that never completely coalesce into a single coherent narrative. This ambiguity is underscored by Mull’s use of varied painting styles, from the cartoonish to the photorealistic, throughout the canvas. The disjointed visual field evokes the imperfect process of memory and alludes to the complex and diverse influences that inform our personal identities.
Mull was born in Chicago and studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he earned his MFA in 1967. His work is in numerous public collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
I had a teacher in art school who said something about the only works he really enjoyed seeing or found much in were works where he had a sense that a discovery was made in the course of making this object. I kind of like to hold to that as my marching orders … I want to make sure that I am at least trying to weigh myself down, that there’s a challenge each time.
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