Anise Gallery is delighted to present Holland-based artist Daniel Mullen for his first show at the gallery, ‘Constructing the Future’, which sees the artist develop his practice exploring space, line and form. There are clear aesthetic influences from futurism and the Dutch ‘de Stijl’ movement, bringing both in line with contemporary messages and contexts.
Mullen’s work transcends the flat space of the canvas and invites the viewer into a new realm which is not explicit, creating access into a wider spectrum of the possible, and the imaginary. Again employing concepts developed by the likes of Mondrian in the De Stijl movement, we see the artist’s work materialising the term ‘neo-plasticism’, referring to a branch of abstraction which uses horizontal and vertical lines and mostly primary colours.
‘What is reality?’ is a question which emerges repeatedly in Mullen’s work, as in contemporary society the line between our perception of reality and illusion becomes increasingly blurred. Highlighting the friction between the stability of structure and fragility in weightlessness is prevalent in this body of work. Mullen says: “I paint an illusion to be recognised as exactly that, therefore raising the question of perception, like the shadows on the wall in the analogy of Plato’s cave”. Plato stated that the role of the philosopher is to communicate in such a manner that man would recognise the shadows in the cave as an illusion. Perhaps without Plato’s grandiose statement, this communication of perception is evident in ‘Constructing the Future’.
The artist speaks of his inspiration and motivation succinctly in that “it is my Universe and I am the architect at play”, asking a salient question about ownership of his work and influences: can we, as the viewer, be something of a curator in the world of Daniel Mullen’s work? We can certainly identify geometric and dynamic themes relating to the urban domain.
‘Constructing the Future’ is the latest exhibition for the artist, where his work has been shown internationally, however Anise Gallery are pleased to be the first to exhibit Mullen in the UK. His work is in numerous corporate and private collections globally. Recently he was long-listed for the Aesthetica art prize and in 2014 short-listed for the prestigious Royal Dutch Prize for Painting.