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Lee Mullican, Untitled Abstract Expressionist Lithograph, 1964

Lee Mullican


Current Stock: 1


Lee Mullican

Untitled Abstract Expressionist Lithograph, 1964

Lithograph on wove paper

30 × 20 inches

Hand signed and annotated on lower front. Publisher's and Printer's Blind Stamps.

Rarely found on the market, this lithograph is annotated "Bon a Tirer" (B.A.T.)- which literally means "Good (i.e. Ready) to Print". It is a unique proof, and, as the very first signed and authorized print of any edition, it is typically the most desirable, as it has the richest most vibrant colors. The BAT prints were typically retained by the print shop or the master printer and were not part of the marketed edition. Indeed, the present work has fine provenance: it comes from the estate and personal collection of Dr. Bernard " Bernie" Bleha, a master printer at Tamarind (which was originally in Los Angeles) under the supervision of Technical Director Kenneth Tyler. (Tyler would go on to found his own hugely successful print shop and Bleha became the co founder of Gemini G.E.L. ). There is only one BAT - making this more unique than all other editions.

Lee Mullican is the father of the contemporary artist Matthew Mullican.
Lee Mullican biography courtesy of James Cohan Gallery:
The late California artist Lee Mullican’s paintings are a uniquely West Coast exploration into abstraction; one that is grounded in content, full of mysticism and connections to the transcendent. Mullican describes, “We were involved with a kind of meditation, and for me this had a great deal to do with the study of nature, and the study of pattern…We were dealing with art as a way of meditation.” This outlook was in contrast to the heroic, action-driven work being made by his contemporaries, the New York School of Abstract Expressionists, on the East Coast. His productive sixty-year career was launched in San Francisco as one of three artists who identified as the Dynaton Group. Through a chance meeting, he became close to Gordon Onslow Ford and later met the Surrealist painter, Wolfgang Paalen, who had published the influential Dyn Magazine. Their shared interests culminated in the seminal Dynaton exhibition at San Francisco Museum of Art in 1951

Lee Mullican was born in Chickasha, Oklahoma in 1919 and died in Los Angeles in 1998. He attended the Kansas City Art Institute after transferring from the University of Oklahoma in 1941. Upon his graduation from the Institute in 1942, Mullican was drafted into the army, serving for four years as a topographical draughtsman. Mullican traveled to Hawaii, Guam and Japan before ending his tenure in the army in 1946, when he moved to San Francisco. After winning a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 1959, he spent a year painting in Rome before returning to Los Angeles where he joined the teaching staff of the UCLA Art Department in 1961, keeping his position for nearly 30 years. He divided the later part of his life between his homes in Los Angeles and Taos, traveling internationally and co- organizing exhibitions at UCLA. Mullican’s works are included in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Hammer Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as in numerous other institutions.


Height:   30.00
Width:   20.00