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Lee Mullican
Capriccio Foundation for Modern and Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Recommendation by Michel Abatemarco



Lee Mullican's "Taos Clay" sculptures are every bit as enigmatic and surreal as the paintings he is best known for.

 

Continuing through August 17, 2012

 

Lee Mullican was less known for his ceramics than for his paintings, but the sculptures in “The Taos Clay” are every bit as enigmatic and surreal as his abstractions. Crosshatching on “Untitled #21,” among other pieces, is an invitation to touch. The tactile quality of the work is enhanced by the sketch-like approach to mark making in the surface of the clay. “Untitled #25" takes the crosshatching to another level, like the rough skin of an elephant.

 

Mullican’s work makes reference to Pre-Columbian cultures as well as the living cultures of the Southwest. These influences can be detected, though he is subtle about it, in works like “Untitled #17” and “Untitled #19.” The ceramic pieces in “The Taos Clay” are often figurative but retain a raw and earthy quality, like features of a desert landscape. Two of his paintings, as complex as the most detailed Navajo weaving, are included, adding just the right amount of color to the gray and white, rarely seen sculptures.


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