In the spring of 1991, the Quist wing is the first venue in the Netherlands to hold a major retrospective of the oeuvre of American artist Matt Mullican.
Mullican is working on the development of a model for an imaginary world. A personal universe, with its own rules and laws. Through hypnosis he attempts to ‘evoke a conceivable, non-physical world as a counterpoint to the world as we experience it in everyday life’, writes Van Straaten.
City of the mind
This universe has taken the form of a ‘city of the mind’. In the exhibition, this ‘city’ is depicted in maps that are presented on large posters, drawings, in light boxes or in spatial forms. The highly personal and emotional early works, from which his later, much more rational and conceptual works derive, are also included in the exhibition.
Exhibition Matt Mullican, 1991
Since the 1980s, Mullican has also been using the computer to make virtual visualizations of his imagined reality. This technique is still rather inaccessible at the time. But Digital Editions from Hollywood provide machines for his project. Collaboratively he creates The computer project, an early digital artwork that consists of a virtual environment of 6 by 3 kilometres.
Matt Mullican, Still from The computer project, 1989 - 1990
Partly as a result of the exhibition, a monograph on the artist is published in 1992, with contributions from various authors. In her essay, curator Marianne Brouwer compares the task that Mullican has set himself to ‘the labours of Hercules’.