Art Abstracts: Lee Mullican

Stumped by this week’s Art Abstracts? It’s Lee Mullican’s California Dream (Zuma) from 1970! We picked this one because it will be featured in Friday’s Toast to the Arts. Mullican’s abstract painting will be paired with Benton Lane Pinot Gris from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. The food pairing will be a California Roll from O Asian Fusion.

Mullican-California Dream

In the late 1940s, Lee Mullican developed a unique aesthetic language by applying paint with a printer’s knife. The organic and geometric forms that resulted were loosely influenced by diverse sources such as Byzantine mosaics and Native American art. Mullican’s imagery expressed his spiritual engagement with nature, both consciously and unconsciously. His California Dream (Zuma) likely refers to Zuma Beach near Malibu, California. The flowing, radiant forms not only allude to the sun, sea, and coastline but also Mullican’s spiritual and emotional response to the landscape.

If you are interested in enjoying wine and food while you reflect on this colorfully abstract painting, please join us for Toast to the Arts!


Lee Mullican (U.S., 1919-1998)
California Dream (Zuma), 1964-65
Oil on canvas, 72 x 72 inches
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, The University of Oklahoma, Norman
Gift of the artist, 1970


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