Explore the Era

Delve into the postwar Los Angeles art world in this online archive, which provides additional material related to the exhibitions on view at the Getty Center. Learn about hipsters and happenings, and the venues across the city where all the action took place through images from the archives and first-hand accounts with the artists.

Untitled (Venice)

Untitled (Venice)

Untitled (Venice), 1967, Lee Mullican. Oil on canvas. 80 x 120 in. Estate of Lee Mullican, Courtesy of Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles. © Estate of Lee Mullican

Lee Mullican’s canvases seem to embody transcendental states of human consciousness and are inspired by various world cultures, several of which he was exposed to during his tours with the U.S. Army during World War II. In San Francisco in the early 1950s, Mullican was a member of the artist group Dynaton, whose aim was to represent the limitless realities of inner space and cosmic realms. After moving to Los Angeles in 1952, his painting techniques shifted as he began composing more unified and contemplative picture planes. This is evident in later work such as Untitled (Venice), a canvas that exhibits Mullican’s characteristically tight patterning. Using a palette knife, he painted interlocking, multicolored forms that together create a subtly textured field. The word “Venice,” inscribed in the upper left-hand corner, likely refers to the location of Mullican’s studio in the 1960s, near the ocean on Venice Boulevard.

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Explore the Archive

  • Video: Luchita Mullican on Lee Mullican

    Video: Luchita Mullican speaks about the work of Lee Mullican, July 2011

  • Lee Mullican

    Lee Mullican in 1959. Image courtesy of Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles. © Estate of Lee Mullican