As I mentioned in my introductory blog, the coming Solstice marks the end of short days and long dark nights. I always think of Summer in late December.
This work dates from 1957, when Mullican was living in Sao Paolo, Brazil, with his new bride, the artist Luchita Hurtado.
While Mullican did not title this drawing, I call him "Shadow Man". I see a figure made of shadow, almost tripping over his own shadow. It's one of those pieces that is not figurative at all, but once I see a figure in an abstraction, I'm never able to forget it. "Shadow Man" is so blasted by the Brazilian sunlight, that he is reduced to a stumbling contrast of black paint and white chalk.
Lee Mullican, along with Wolfgang Paalen and Gordon Onslow Ford, exhibited together as the Dynaton Group. This group of artists, named after the Greek word for “the possible,” acted as a bridge between the European Surrealist and American Abstract Expressionist schools.
This time of the year, as the New Year and Summer approach, we can think about the possible. What we can and will do in the days ahead. Right now, the coming year is more full of possibility than ever before.