Artwork Data




Matt Mullican





Artwork Location


Schoorsteenvegerstraat, Den Haag

City district


GPS data

52.081987989378, 4.3120095454384 View on map

To be found on route

City Center Stroll

Artwork Description


If you don't know it, you just walk past it. In the narrow alley next to the artists' association Pulchri Studio, four enigmatic reliefs have been in place since 2008. Different patterns have been applied to the natural stone. Some of them look like pictograms and company logos, others are less easy to interpret. Geometric shapes predominate. These reliefs are the silent witnesses, or rather residues, of The Hague Sculpture in the summer of 2008. The international sculpture exhibition entitled Freedom was devoted to American art.

One of the participating artists was Matt Mullican. Apart from the reliefs, a series of flags by him was also on display. These fluttered on the facade of the Royal Theatre.

Mullican is fascinated by the visual language he encounters in company logos and in pictograms in semi-public spaces such as airports, libraries and town halls. This visual language says something about how we look at reality and how we subsequently try to convert this reality into visual language. On the basis of the symbolic imagery that he encounters in everyday life, Mullican has been developing his own visual language of signs since the 1970s. He uses them on all sorts of objects (flags, prints, paintings, videos, sculptures, reliefs) which he then arranges according to fixed categories, often by colour. He calls the result a cosmology. He shows both individual works and monumental total installations all over the world.

Deciphering Mullican's cosmology is impossible. The symbols and signs he uses are entirely subjective. However, the patterns are so intriguing that you keep trying. In a certain sense, his visual language functions like cave drawings did in prehistory. In those days, too, people tried to create order in daily life, to get a grip on reality and to communicate with each other by depicting parts of reality symbolically. The reliefs in the alley do not do otherwise.