The choice of the exhibition's title - Incursions - alludes to the events in the natural world in which one force enters - and changes - another; for example, the waters of a spring form a stream which, over time, breaks down a formation of stone. This is an analogous situation to Mr Mullen's subdividing of landscape forms into the component elements. The appeal of the concept of an incursion - for him - is not its being an unwelcome force, such as a military incursion, but rather one involving a kind of gentleness and patience - during which passage of time subtle or even hidden forces forever alter that which we see.
A crucial decision in planning this body of work was to hold the paintings to a single format, so that each would become what he refers to as "the same territorial slice" - with the chosen format being "a given" in comprehending the individual works. After a time of experimentation with various formats of relatively intimate scale, he decided upon one of 26 by 20 inches as being precisely correct for the ideas he wishes to address.
An important shift of focus occurs in the paintings which will compose the forthcoming exhibition, relative to those which were seen in Mr Mullen's most recent previous solo in New York (Oct 2002). With the concept of a force entering and altering an existing physical entity as the inspiration for the language of the new works and with the desire to put more of his ideas into the paintings, the artist departed from his earlier viewpoint of the landscape - both distant and from an elevated position - to draw closer to the subject matter ("in closer proximity", to use his term). Two important ramifications of this shift involve his enabling the viewer to share the same degree of proximity in contemplating and responding to his paintings and the possibility of the artist actually being inside the subject matter.
Mr Mullen was born in Edinburgh, Scotland (1959) and educated in London (BA in Fine Art, Central St Martins, 1984 and BA in Philosophy, Birbeck College, 1989). The first public exposure of his work was in London, beginning in 1983. He has been living and working in New York City since 1994, and his exhibitions have been reviewed by The New York Times, Flash Art, The New York Observer, and Review .