Daily Art Moment: Marlon Mullen

Untitled, Marlon Mullen, 36 x 36 inches, acrylic on canvas. A square painting showing the word “Horizon,” a slightly curved line, and a small crescent shape, all in black on a red background. The background is entirely painted in red with obvious brush work. Paint appears to be applied with short brushstrokes and is thick in some areas. Brushstrokes can be seen especially around the letters in the word “Horizon,” at top left, which is painted in all caps. The letters vary in thickness and are unevenly spaced. About a third from the top of the painting a black horizontal line runs from side to side and curves slightly upward in the middle. At left below the line and about a third from the bottom of the painting is a small black crescent shape. Heavy red brushstrokes surround the shape.

“Marlon Mullen begins his paintings with covers and pages cut from lifestyle magazines and contemporary art periodicals. As he develops a work, he transforms the images into a painted matrix of interlocking colors and forms. This work started with the cover of ‘Horizon,’ an arts-and-culture journal published from 1958 to 1989 and it is more minimalist in its composition than other exuberantly chromatic and intricately designed pieces that he has created. This painting is forthright and it has a strong pull on me. The red paint applied in measured brushstrokes has an insistent wave-like rhythm. The color contrasts with the bisecting black line, a letter C, and the black letters spelling out H-O-R-I-Z-O-N. That simply knocks me back. What’s a horizon? What’s on the horizon? Am I expanding my horizon? In the face of the pandemic and uprisings for justice, this work moves me yet again. It evokes the blood-red, hot heat of the moment surrounding us with a solid horizon line fixing my gaze on a destination, the future.”

Sara Krajewski, The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

Marlon Mullen, Untitled, 2016, acrylic on canvas, Museum Purchase: Funds provided by Shane Akeroyd, © unknown, research required, 2018.19.1

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