Matt Mullican

Installation view 1987. Photo: LWL / Rudolf Wakonigg

Installation view 1987. Photo: LWL / Rudolf Wakonigg

Untitled (Sculpture for the Chemical Institutes)


Ground-based relief consisting of 35 sandblasted black granite panels measuring 150 x 150 cm, assembled into an arrangement of 7 x 5 panels, overall dimensions: 1,050 x 750 cm



Centre of natural sciences / Institute for Inorganic and Analytic Chemistry, grass verge between the buildings at Wilhelm-Klemm-Straße 6 (auditorium) and 8, and Corrensstraße 40; access possible from Corrensstraße 40.

Installed since Skulptur Projekten in Münster 1987



LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur, Münster. Purchased with the support of NRW-Stiftung and the Chemistry Faculty at Münster University

Matt Mullican

* 1951 in Santa Monica, California, USA

lives and works in New York, USA

In 1987 the conceptual artist Matt Mullican constructed a flat ground sculpture between three buildings belonging to the Institute of Chemistry of the University of Münster. In the courtyard between block-shaped functional buildings with lecture halls and laboratories he laid 35 granite slabs on a rectangular area of grass. Built around a blank smooth slab at the centre he arranged further panels engraved with various symbols by means of sand-blasting.

For the work’s location Mullican chose an intimate site that is relatively unknown to the public. Adopting his characteristically encyclopaedic procedure, he installed a mosaic of signs and symbols derived from the real world. These mosaics “start with nothing and with the elements and then ascend from images from organic evolution via the imprint of a smashed human skeleton to cosmological symbols on the left, and on the right, to the trivial pictograms of our road and routing signage.”1

It is no coincidence that the emblems of laboratory devices correspond with the research performed on this site. Since eternity people have used sign systems to communicate or to order and elucidate the world. For Münster, Mullican designed an artistic variant of such an explanatory model, using contemporary hieroglyphs that seem to shed light on the conditions of existence.

Daniel Friedt

Georg Jappe, Skulptur Projekte in Münster 1987. Rundgang, Münster 1987, 139.


  • Still existing / Public Collection
  • Removed
  • In the museum