Matt Mullican


Neuenbrunnenstrasse 50
8050 Zürich
  • © Pierluigi Macor / Stadt Zürich KiöR («Neuer Norden Zürich»)

  • © Pierluigi Macor / Stadt Zürich KiöR («Neuer Norden Zürich»)


 Matt Mullican (b. 1951 in the USA) is an artist who already developed a personal interpretive system in the 1980s. His works contain symbols that stand for thinking, being, matter, art etc. In Zurich, four benches can be seen, with grids, into which this visual vocabulary has been incorporated in the form of silhouettes. Mullican’s symbols are subjective, individual and sometimes based on signage from the public space. Mullican developed the piece in consultation with Austrian artist Peter Kogler. For his part, Kogler designed 6 benches with the same material and seat height, resulting in a collective ensemble of seats.

“The four are actually five,” says Mullican in an interview. Anyone viewing the benches from above finds the “cosmology” pattern in the lower right-hand corner. This contains abstract symbols (mostly developed from a round form) for heaven, God, angels, hell etc. Concepts from metaphysics, religion and archaic myths are translated into an inventory of meaningful units. This allows them to be placed in different contexts. Depending on how they are read, different links appear.