Philip Mullen (1942 - )

"Alex's Table" 2009 (acrylic on canvas) 48" x 36"

Mullen was born in 1942.  He is currently Distinguished Professor Emeritus at University of South Carolina.  In 1964 he received his BA from the University of Minnesota.  In 1966 he received his MA in studio arts from the University of North Dakota and in 1970 he received his PhD in Comparative Arts from Ohio University.  He now lives and paints in Columbia, South Carolina.

Andy Reed writes about Mullen's works:

Fluid, complex, abstract yet deeply rooted in the world of things experienced in a tactile way.  Mullen's paintings are both carefully thought out and joyously care-free.  Philip Mullen's art represents not an artistic simplification of visual reality but a voluptuous re-imagining and re-working of it. which prevents the viewer from taking them in all at once.  And Mr, Mullen would not have it any other way.  The fine balance he consistently achieves is one of beguiling the viewer to "work" at appreciating them while not making him feel coerced in any way while he does so.  

The skill and boldness of Mullen's handling of color and light is evident everywhere.  Those familiar with his work will note his signature use of shutters which afford him so many surfaces with which to explore and juxtapose different tonal qualities of light.  Here Mr. Mullen is engaged in the artistic endeavor at its purest and most primal: the lavishing of color on canvas,  At the same time, the shutters are suggestive of something unseen and unknown going on beyond them and the very human desire to modulate and exert a measure of control over the on-rush of outer experience.  In a way they serve as a perfect metaphor for the activity of the artist.