Installation of Jill Mulleady's work

< Back to Made in L.A. 2020: a version

Jill Mulleady

Jill Mulleady’s paintings present unsettling scenes that oscillate between beautiful and horrifying, quiet and violent. Her compositions are rich with allegorical symbols and art historical references that conflate eras. Even when depicting a particular location, they feel liminal and otherworldly. She populates these ghostly worlds with recognizable figures: poets, writers, and artists, rendered with their bodies contorted and their flesh a sickly hue. Mulleady often intervenes in the spaces in which her paintings are installed, staging them alongside readymades and architectural interventions. This strategy turns the gallery space into a kind of proscenium, heightening the theatricality of viewing. Her approach is inspired in part by the experimental theater director Antonin Artaud, who strived for a “communion between actor and audience in a magic exorcism.”

Mulleady’s four paintings respond both visually and conceptually to their setting in The Huntington’s American Art Galleries. In a scenographic gesture, her diptych Interior of a Forest—an appropriation of a work with the same title by Paul Cézanne (ca. 1885)—stages Zenobia in Chains (1859), the marble sculpture by Harriet Goodhue Hosmer from The Huntington’s collection, in a burning trail. In dialogue with Zenobia, Mulleady takes Henry Fuseli’s painting The Three Witches (ca. 1785) as a subject matter and reproduces it, adding the flash glare of a photograph. Acquired by The Huntington for its European collection, Fuseli’s painting depicts a pivotal moment in Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth (act 1, scene 3), when the protagonist encounters a demonic trio of witches, who foretell his fate. The text originally engraved in the frame is here replicated in trompe l’oeil, quoting in ancient Greek the playwright Aeschylus: “Not women, but Gorgons I call them,” a reference to Medusa and her sisters, whose terrifying gazes turned men to stone. The final work, What’s Lost in the Fight, is inspired by the memory of a painting Mulleady saw as a child at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires: La Vuelta del Malón (The Return of the Indian Raid) by Argentinian painter Ángel Della Valle (1892), which depicts a group of indigenous people in the Pampas on horses looting villages and capturing a white woman. This depiction was an inaccurate and symbolic inversion of the historical terms of conquest and dispossession; in reality, the majority of invasions, imprisonments, and exterminations were carried out by colonial armies. At the time, the painting served to validate colonization by vandalizing the figure of the Native. Mulleady’s revision takes place at sunrise during the clearing of a storm and the seeming aftermath of a battle. The horses appear ungovernable; triggered by the forces of nature, they attack one another. The human figures from Della Valle’s painting are removed, and at the far left, an old woman stands apart from the group, as if practicing a shamanic act, while a running coyote stares directly at the viewer, including them in the violent scene.

In Made in L.A. 2020: a version, the artist's work is present in two institutions, across Los Angeles. See Jill Mulleady's work on view at the Hammer.

BIOGRAPHY
Jill Mulleady was born in 1980 in Montevideo, Uruguay. She studied theater at the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, Paris, and received an MFA from Chelsea College of Arts, London. Mulleady’s paintings are representations of unsettling scenes and contorted bodies, oscillating between the beautiful and the horrifying, the quiet and the violent. Recognizable poets, writers, and artists are often featured in her work, among them the French playwright Antonin Artaud. Artaud, briefly a member of the surrealists and an important figure of twentieth-century theater, is best known for his writing associated with the Theater of Cruelty, an avant-garde form of theater that holistically assaults the audience’s senses. Artaud’s aim was to jar his public into a better understanding of their own repressed feelings, describing the experience as a “communion between actor and audience in a magic exorcism.” Mulleady’s exhibitions are similarly infused with a consideration of the gallery as a proscenium; she often intervenes in the spaces in which her paintings are installed, staging them with readymades and architectural interventions. She has had solo exhibitions at Swiss Institute, New York (2019); Galerie Neu, Berlin (2018); Schloss, Oslo (2018); Kunsthalle Bern (2017); Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles (2017); and Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples (2015). In 2019 Mulleady’s work was included in May You Live in Interesting Times at the 58th Venice Biennale.

Related Events

Lunchtime Art Talk on Monica Majoli

Wed., Dec. 2, 12:30 p.m. (PST)
Join Nicholas Barlow, curatorial assistant at the Hammer Museum, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Monica Majoli.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Diane Severin Nguyen

Wed., Dec. 9, 12:30 p.m. (PST)
Join Lauren Mackler, co-curator of "Made in L.A. 2020: a version," for this short and insightful discussion about artist Diane Severin Nguyen.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Mario Ayala

Wed., Dec. 16, 12:30 p.m. (PST)
Join Vanessa Arizmendi, curatorial assistant at the Hammer Museum, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Mario Ayala.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Nicola L.

Wed., Jan. 6, 12:30 p.m. (PST)
Join Matthieu Vahanian, curatorial assistant at the Hammer Museum, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Nicola L.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Jacqueline Kiyomi Gork

Wed., Jan. 13, 12:30 p.m. (PST)
Join Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi, Made in L.A. 2020 assistant curator of performance, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Jacqueline Kiyomi Gork.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Katja Seid

Wed., Jan. 27, 12:30 p.m. (PST)
Join Nika Chilewich, curatorial assistant at the Hammer Museum, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Katja Seid.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Jill Mulleady

Wed., Feb. 3, 12:30 p.m. (PST)
Join Aram Moshayedi, Robert Soros Curator at the Hammer Museum, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Jill Mulleady.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Brandon D. Landers

Wed., Feb. 10, 12:30 p.m. (PST)
Join Erin Christovale, associate curator at the Hammer Museum, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Brandon D. Landers.
Watch

Conversation with Fulton Leroy Washington (aka MR. WASH) & Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi

Thurs., Feb. 11, 5 p.m. (PST)
The pair discuss MR. WASH's painting practice and his participation in the Hammer's biennial.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Ser Serpas

Wed., Feb. 17, 12:30 p.m. (PST)
Join Connie Butler, chief curator at the Hammer Museum, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Ser Serpas.
Watch

Screening: deader than dead with Ligia Lewis & Mlondi Zondi

Sun., Feb. 21, 1 p.m. (PST)
Movement artist and scholar Mlondi Zondi joins artist Ligia Lewis in conversation, followed by a screening of Lewis’s dance performance deader than dead (2020).
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Buck Ellison

Wed., Feb. 24, 12:30 p.m. (PST)
Join Nicholas Barlow, curatorial assistant at the Hammer Museum, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Buck Ellison.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Niloufar Emamifar

Wed., March 3, 12:30 p.m. (PST)
Join Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi, Made in L.A. 2020 assistant curator of performance, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Niloufar Emamifar.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Kahlil Joseph

Wed., March 10, 12:30 p.m. (PST)
Join Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi, Made in L.A. 2020 assistant curator of performance, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Kahlil Joseph.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Patrick Jackson

Wed., March 17, 12:30 p.m. (PDT)
Join Nicholas Barlow, curatorial assistant at the Hammer Museum, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Patrick Jackson.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Reynaldo Rivera

Wed., March 24, 12:30 p.m. (PDT)
Join Vanessa Arizmendi, curatorial assistant at the Hammer Museum, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Reynaldo Rivera.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Christina Forrer

Wed., March 31, 12:30 p.m. (PDT)
Join Dennis Carr, The Huntington's Chief Curator of American Art, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Christina Forrer.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Kandis Williams

Wed., April 7, 12:30 p.m. (PDT)
Join Nika Chilewich, curatorial assistant at the Hammer Museum, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Kandis Williams.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Aria Dean

Wed., April 14, 12:30 p.m. (PDT)
Join Connie Butler, chief curator at the Hammer Museum, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Aria Dean.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Hedi El Kholti

Wed., April 21, 12:30 p.m. (PDT)
Join Aram Moshayedi, Robert Soros Curator at the Hammer Museum, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Hedi El Kholti.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Alexandra Noel

Wed., April 28, 12:30 p.m. (PDT)
Join Erin Christovale, associate curator at the Hammer Museum, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Alexandra Noel.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Sabrina Tarasoff

Wed., May 5, 12:30 p.m. (PDT)
Join Lauren Mackler, co-curator of "Made in L.A. 2020: a version," for this short and insightful discussion about artist Sabrina Tarasoff.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Umar Rashid

Wed., May 12, 12:30 p.m. (PDT)
Join Nicholas Barlow, curatorial assistant at the Hammer Museum, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Umar Rashid.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on SON. (Justen LeRoy)

Wed., May 19, 12:30 p.m. (PDT)
Join Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi, Made in L.A. 2020 assistant curator of performance, for this short and insightful discussion about artist SON. (Justen LeRoy).
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Jeffrey Stuker

Wed., May 26, 12:30 p.m. (PDT)
Join Lauren Mackler, co-curator of "Made in L.A. 2020: a version," for this short and insightful discussion about artist Jeffrey Stuker.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Ann Greene Kelly

Wed., June 2, 12:30 p.m. (PDT)
Join Nika Chilewich, curatorial assistant at the Hammer Museum, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Ann Greene Kelly.
Watch

Fear of Poetry Screening with Jack Skelley & Sabrina Tarasoff

Wed., June 2, 7 p.m. (PDT)
Join writer Jack Skelley and "Made in L.A. 2020" artist Sabrina Tarasoff for a virtual screening and conversation on Gail Kaszynski's 1983 documentary Fear of Poetry.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Mathias Poledna

Wed., June 9, 12:30 p.m. (PDT)
Join Nicholas Barlow, curatorial assistant at the Hammer Museum, for this short and insightful discussion about artist Mathias Poledna.
Reserve

Hedi El Kholti & Abdellah Taïa: Toward the sea, Where we meet

Tue., June 15, 7 p.m. (PDT)
Join artist Hedi El Kholti and writer, filmmaker Abdellah Taïa as they read excerpts from their respective works and discuss their shared experiences growing up queer in Morocco.
Watch

God’s Suicide by Harmony Holiday

Thurs., June 24, 7 p.m. (PDT)
Join actor Larry Powell as he portrays writer and public intellectual James Baldwin in this production of artist Harmony Holiday's one-man play, God's Suicide.
Watch

Conversations with Hedi El Kholti & Reynaldo Rivera

Tue., July 13, 7 p.m. (PDT)
Join artists Hedi El Kholti and Reynaldo Rivera as they play records and discuss music that has had a profound influence in their lives.
Watch

Conversations with Buck Ellison & Shamus Khan

Thurs., July 22, 7 p.m. (PDT)
Artist Buck Ellison is joined in conversation by Shamus Khan, professor of sociology and American studies at Princeton University.
Watch

Lunchtime Art Talk on Larry Johnson

Wed., July 28, 12:30 p.m. (PDT)
Join Lauren Mackler, co-curator of "Made in L.A. 2020: a version," for this short and insightful discussion about artist Larry Johnson.
Watch